PASSENGERS in Market Weighton are to get a direct bus service to York, it has been announced.
East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS), who are the main bus operators in the region have come up with the Wicstun Express service, which will launch later this month.
Like others, it will run along the A1079 to York from the town, but without stops at other towns and villages. EYMS say it will shave approximately 15 minutes off the journey of the next fastest service, the X46.
It will also be cheaper than the standard return fare to York, costing £6 per person, with EYMS also promising to post out money-saving vouchers through residents’ doors in the coming weeks in the hope of boosting passenger numbers.
EYMS say it will run several journeys in each direction from Monday to Saturday, which they say will make it ideal for commuters and shoppers.
Chairman of the company, Peter Shipp, said: “Despite looming potential bus service reductions throughout England as a result of steep fuel price rises and funding cuts, rather than just give up and cut bus routes, EYMS is especially keen to find new opportunities for buses where there seems to be enough demand.
“We know that Market Weighton is a growing town, so with the cost of motoring also escalating and with high parking charges in York we believe there is an opportunity here to provide a better service for existing users and attract car users to try the bus as well.”
The move has been welcomed by members of Market Weighton Town Council, who had called for more direct services.
Councillor Paul Stellings said: “I’ve campaigned for a long time for additional bus services for Market Weighton, and I am pleased that, as a result of forums held in the town last year, East Yorkshire Motor Services have listened to the comments of the residents.
“The Wicstun Express is a first in the history of public transport for Market Weighton, bypassing the deviation along The Balk and around Pocklington and, with the X46/X47 and 746, gives the town three separate services to York, and a lot of choice of departure times throughout the day.
“It’s a bit disappointing, though, that no improvements to Sunday or evening services have been looked at but, as many communities throughout the country are losing bus services, I suppose we need to be grateful for the public transport provided.”
Mayor of Market Weighton, Councillor Peter Hemmerman, added: “It’s very good news for bus travellers and hopefully the timetable will be arranged so as to be of benefit to workers, students and others who need to arrive in York for a specific time.
“Its nice to see that Market Weighton is now being recognised as a significant settlement in East Yorkshire. Although we do not want to become a dormitory town, we still need to have a reliable source of public transport.”
The Wicstun Express will be launched on Monday, 21 March.
Meanwhile, EYMS say they are to co-ordinate existing services, including the X46, 744, 746, 195 and 18A, to prevent long gaps between buses on the timetable, while new routes in York are also being looked at.
Timetable leaflets for all these routes will be available from the ‘Bus It’ promotion bus, which will be at Market Weighton Tesco from 10am-2pm this Saturday, 12 March. Alternatively, download the new bus times at www.eyms.co.uk