Stranded - COMMENT ON THIS STORY

Yvonne Wheeler and Catherine Wilson, at the bus stop in Melbouene
Yvonne Wheeler and Catherine Wilson, at the bus stop in Melbouene

ANGRY villagers say impending cuts to local bus services will leave them stranded.

From 5 September, East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS) will withdraw two journeys from the 195 bus, which they claim are no longer viable.

EYMS will stop the 6.45am Pocklington to York service and 5.15pm York to Pocklington service.

One resident who will be affected by the cuts is Yvonne Wheeler, from Melbourne.

Mrs Wheeler uses the bus on a daily basis to get to and from work in York but, when the services are withdrawn, she says it will be difficult getting there and back as she does not drive.

She said: “I’m in a bit of a quandary from September. I will have no means to get to work.

“I don’t drive. I’m a non-driver. Quite a few people I know are in a similar situation to me along the route.

“I use it every day. It’s how I get to and from work. I’ve used it the last 13 years. It’s quite a shock for me.”

“I am going to have to arrange for lifts to work. It’s a bit of a problem.”

Mrs Wheeler, who only found out about the cuts after a bus driver told her, claims there has been a lack of consultation and believes East Riding Council should step in and replace the services.

She said: “We’ve not had a thing from EYMS and here we are with less than five weeks to go.

“We are waiting to see what East Riding Council are going to do. They co-ordinate public transport for the area. They must consider replacing it.

Catherine Wilson, who lives near Melbourne, is another resident who will be affected by the withdrawal of the services.

She said: “Sometimes I might use the bus for a month or so, every weekday when I work in York.

“If the bus isn’t there I can’t accept work.

“It will leave me stranded.

“Other occasions, when I’m not working, I come in to York on the early bus. So I’ll still be stranded.”

Douglas Hope, of Everingham, believes the cuts will cause social exclusion.

He said: “Withdrawal of this service will mean that anyone living in Bielby, Everingham, Seaton Ross and Melbourne will no longer be able to get to work in York by public transport.

“Access to adequate public transport is important if social exclusion is being taken seriously.

“I believe we should be supporting the Government’s aim of tackling poverty and improving life chances, to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance to fulfil their potential and therefore the withdrawal of a service which gives people access to employment opportunities is to be regretted.”

East Riding Council insist they are looking at all the options available to them to help the villagers affected.

Dave Waudby, head of infrastructure and facilities, said: “East Riding Council is currently assessing the options available regarding this service and will consult with the parties concerned before making an informed decision.”

The 195 bus travels through a handful of local villages between Pocklington and York including Melbourne, Allerthorpe, Everingham, Seaton Ross, Sutton-on-Derwent.

EYMS claim the 6.45am and 5.15pm services are no longer viable because they have recently lost several school contracts in the Pocklington area.

A spokesperson for the operator said: “We are planning to withdraw as from 5 September the 5.15pm York to Pocklington and 6.45am Pocklington to York.

“Reason being we have lost quite a few school contracts in the Pocklington area.

“Due to the withdrawal of the school contracts, these journeys in their own right become unviable.

“We notified the traffic commissioners in mid-July then notified East Riding Council and York City Council of what we are doing.

“As far as I know neither East Riding nor York City have decided to replace the journeys we have taken off.”

A Facebook group called ‘Save the 195’ has been set up to find out who uses the bus and how often.