‘We could buy our own shuttle bus’

Mick Pilling (third from left, back row) wants the town to run its own shuttle bus

Mick Pilling (third from left, back row) wants the town to run its own shuttle bus

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After battling for years to protect services at Bridlington Hospital, Mick Pilling has launched his latest health campaign.

He wants Bridlington busineses and volunteers to get together to buy their own shuttle bus to take patients to and from appointments at Scarborough Hospital.

Mick Pilling previously ran the Save Brid Hospital Group

Mick Pilling previously ran the Save Brid Hospital Group

The bus services which used to operate between the two sites stopped running last weekend.

Mr Pilling said: “The people of Bridlington are not best pleased. Another travesty to hit the town.

“We were told that when services were removed from Bridlington Hospital that the shuttle bus would be set up for patients to get to Scarborough’s A&E, visiting and for patients to get to the hospital for their appointments.”

The shuttle bus had operated free of charge for several years but budget pressures threatened its future last year.

The old shuttle bus stopped running last weekend.

The old shuttle bus stopped running last weekend.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Bridlington Town Council and Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group got together and ran two 12-week trials where passengers paid £5 for a return journey, in a bid to keep the service alive.

But only 140 people were using it in an average week, and it needed at least 350 to cover the £8,000 a month running costs.

Mr Pilling believes it is possible for the town to buy its own replacement bus.

He said: “We must, as a town, look at the various options which are open to us. We have a catchment area of some 44,000 residents, 60% of which are elderly.

“We have been let down very badly.”

“If we are lucky to raise enough funds, companies and businesses could have their names put on the bus. Passengers could still pay the existing fare £5 return?

“Let’s get this off the ground. Bridlington could be proud of its own Bridlington to Scarborough Hospital Bus.”

Mr Pilling said he would look to approach businesses and ‘high profile people’ within the town about sponsorship and he plans to set up a website to raise money,

“We are 18 miles from Scarborough Hospital with taxis costing £25 one way,” he said. “Trains and buses are very hard to arrange with times.

“I would like to ask the residents and businesses to get behind us. What are you waiting for?”