VILLAGERS are breathing a sigh of relief after East Riding Council found a last minute replacement for bus services recently dropped by a commercial operator.
East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS) decided to cut two journeys from the 195 bus on 5 September - the 6.45am Pocklington to York and 5.15pm York to Pocklington - after losing several school contracts in the region which they claimed made the services unviable.
Villagers who use these services were worried about how they would get to York after hearing about the planned cuts.
But East Riding Council has stepped in and secured a temporary replacement for the services after agreeing to link up with York Pullman, who has also made arrangements with City of York Council, to run a service until January next year.
Melbourne resident Yvonne Wheeler, who uses the bus to get to work in York, is delighted with the decision made by the local authority.
She said: “I am happy with the interim solution.
“I think it is a shame it has taken so long. But at the end of the day they have pulled out the stops.
“There is a Melbourne Parish Council meeting on 12 September. We need to get people to use the bus. We’re hoping to get people to that meeting.”
“The decision is hugely important for me personally. I can still get to work.”
Catherine Wilson, who lives near Melbourne, is another resident who is pleased that a replacement has been found.
She said: “I am very pleased with the decision to continue the 195 even though it is on a temporary basis.
“I do temp work in York and have been working fairly consistently each week during June, July and August as people have been on holiday.
“I had also committed to working all of September and if these two buses had been cancelled, although I would probably have been able to find some way of getting into York after 5 September, it would have been very difficult as I would have felt that I had to honour this commitment.
“Without this transport I would be unable to accept any offers of temp work that I received and, as a pensioner, I do need the extra income.”
Douglas Hope, of Everingham, thinks it is important to have public transport between local villages and York.
He said: “I’m pleased that there will still be a bus service to get people to and from work and college in York. It is important that there is a reliable public transport link between the villages and York.
“It is good to see councils getting together to agree funding for the service. I hope that at the end of the year it will be confirmed that it has a long term future.”
East Riding Council, who, together with City of York Council, is subsidising the replacement services over the next four months, hopes to receive financial support from town and parish councils in the affected area from January in order to keep the services going.
Nigel Leighton, director of environment and neighbourhood services, said: “As soon as the council became aware that the current bus provision for morning and evening travel was to be withdrawn, it began looking at the options available in order to provide further time to assess future provision.
“The council will now speak to the parish councils in the affected area with the aim of securing a commitment from them to see if this service can continue beyond the initial four-month period.”
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York Pullman have made a slight timetable change to what was the 5.15pm York to Pocklington service. It has now changed to 5.40pm.
Richard Startup, commercial manager of the company, said they are pleased the situation has been resolved.
“Obviously we have been aware of this problem and have been working with East Riding of Yorkshire Council and City of York Council to get a resolution,” he said.
“We are pleased they have finally sorted it out and pleased to help them do so.”
The 195 bus travels through a handful of local villages between Pocklington and York including Melbourne, Allerthorpe, Everingham, Seaton Ross and Sutton-on-Derwent.
A Facebook group called ‘Save the 195’ was set up several weeks ago in an effort to find out who uses the bus and how often. The group has attracted over 30 members.