TWENTY-TWO people have been made redundant as a result of York’s controversial ftr buses being taken off the streets.

First York has confirmed that 22 “customer hosts” employed on the Number 4 route to take fares from passengers have lost their jobs as a result of the decision to replace the bendy ftr buses with double deckers.

A further six “hosts” have been given other jobs within the company.

The ftr buses made their final journeys earlier this month after being branded a “costly disaster” by Labour in its 2011 council election manifesto.

A spokesman for First UK Buses, said: “We can confirm that following a consultation process with the affected staff and the relevant trade unions, 22 of the original 29 customer hosts employed on the York ftr have been made redundant. Six of the original hosts have, however, been redeployed elsewhere in the business. One host left of their own accord.

“The move follows the withdrawal of the ftr from the city in favour of double decker buses. First remains interested in the ftr concept and the vehicles from York will now be used elsewhere in the region.

“We deeply regret the need to make anybody redundant at this time. The company is doing all it can to explore other opportunities for the people affected by this decision.”

The ftrs were launched in York in May 2006 but were beset by controversy, with a storm of early complaints over the ticketing machines and the amount of money spent on roadworks to accommodate the larger buses at bus-stops and tight corners.

Although the decision to axe the ftr service lay with the company, a spokesman said earlier in the year that the firm was “mindful” of the fact that the city council’s ruling Labour administration wanted them axed.

Customer hosts were employed on board the ftr to take fares from customers who boarded through numerous doors, not passing the driver.

On the double deckers which replace the ftrs, drivers are able to pass the driver to buy or show their tickets, the spokesman said.