A VITAL rural bus service under threat of being axed has now been saved for another year.
The X36 service, which runs from Pocklington to York, was introduced in September to replace two journeys cut from the 195 bus run by East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS).
York Pullman agreed to run the service until January 2012 after linking up with ERYC and making arrangements with City of York Council.
But after a review undertaken by both authorities, including full consultation with users and parish councils, East Riding of Yorkshire Council has now announced that the bus provision will continue until March 2012.
Councillor Symon Fraser, cabinet portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “With the support of local ward members and the commitment of the parish and town councils affected, East Riding of Yorkshire Council is delighted to announce that the X36 service will continue.
“The initial four-month period has been well-received by residents and thanks to the partnership work with the parish and town councils the long-term future of this service is now secure.”
The X36 will be part-funded by Pocklington Town Council as well as the parish councils of Melbourne, Seaton Ross, Bielby, Newton on Derwent and Sutton-on-Derwent. The remaining funds will come from ERYC and City of York Council.
The news has been welcomed by Melbourne resident Yvonne Wheeler, who uses the bus regularly to get to work in York and has been heavily involved in a campaign to keep it running.
Mrs Wheeler says the next step for people who catch the bus is to encourage more locals to use it to make sure it keeps going after March 2013.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and relieved. We’re all very happy. The next thing now is working on securing it beyond that date and encouraging more people to use this service to make it totally economically viable.
“Me personally it will give me a bit more security as I won’t have to look around for other ways to get to work or even consider moving. That particular spectre is no longer there.”
At a recent monthly meeting, Pocklington Town Council pledged to contribute a one-off £300 payment towards the running costs of the service.
Councillor Richard Bryon, who lobbied the town council to make a contribution, believes the service can help young people who do not drive and are looking for work between Pocklington and York.
He said: “Young people who haven’t got any transport, if there was a chance of getting work between Pocklington and York it will give them a chance. I think it is worth it.”
Richard Startup, commercial manager of York Pullman, said: “It was something we pushed for to make sure passengers maintained a link to get to work in York.”
The X36’s two services include the 6.45am Pocklington to York and 5.40pm York to Pocklington.
The bus travels through a handful of local villages including Melbourne, Allerthrope, Everingham, Seaton Ross and Sutton-on-Derwent.