Concerns over new bus route

Shelagh Finlay
Shelagh Finlay

RESIDENTS have complained about difficulties caused by a bus service which has recently been altered.

The West Hill service 505 and 506 in Bridlington changed on Monday 17 September to a circular route around the estate, which created a direct link to the hospital.

It had previously changed on July 1 due to congestion problems, meaning the bus no longer ran down Matson Road.

However the change, whilst applauded by many, has also caused problems for elderly and disabled passengers, as the bus stop has moved further from many residents, and a change in timetable so the first bus on the 506 route, for which bus passes are valid, is at 9.47 from the West Hill estate, meaning a delay in getting to hospital appointments.

In addition, a switch in providers from East Yorkshire Motor Service to Bus King on Sunday 16 September, for the Sunday 506 and 508 services, has meant some buses do not have disabled access for elderly and disabled passengers.

Councillor Shelagh Finlay, of Bridlington Town Council, said: “I do know there have been some problems because of the parking of vehicles and buses can’t get round.

“A lot of my ward residents do get on the bus service and we need to make sure that the bus services are running to their benefit.”

Carol Hodges, 59, Greenfield Road, Bridlington, has found the change in timetable difficult as she must wait for a later bus in order to use her bus pass, and also has had problems boarding the Sunday Bus King service.

She said: “It is more of a nuisance than a problem. If I have got a appointment I have to say at least 10.30 because I can’t use my bus pass if you are going anywhere.

“They have made it less helpful, they have stopped going round the whole estate so they have knocked a lot of people who are disabled because they have to walk all the way round to Morrisons so it is a bit of a mess.

“If anyone who isn’t able bodied, is disabled or a pensioner, they have messed it up.”

Tim Wilkinson, operations manager at Bus King, said: “Some buses do have disabled access but it can’t be guarranteed. If they know they are going to be travelling they can call me and I can try to make sure there is one with disabled access running.”

“Most of the buses are low floor.”

Maureen Thompson, 75, of Matson Road, Bridlington, has to get a taxi from her bungalow to her weekly hospital appointments, because she finds it difficult to walk to the bus stop, which used to be opposite her house.

She said: “I used to be able to go into town regularly but not now. I feel house-bound. I have been getting a taxi, but my money only goes so far.

“I have got to walk on the path by Morrisons to get the bus on the main road, the path is uneven and I have tripped a few times, I am bad on my feet and use a walking stick.”

Bob Rackley of EYMS, explained the bus is unable to run down Matson Road due to the number of parked cars on either side of the road, and also because of the larger buses being used has made it difficult to manoeuvre along the route.

Mr Rackley said: “It has become a problem in some of these estates.”

He acknowledged the problem is felt in other parts of Bridlington.

Coun Finlay, who represents Bridlington South Ward, will hold a community surgery at the West Hill Community Centre, Bessingby Gate, between 10am and 12pm, at which residents to voice their concerns over the bus service.

The restored circular route for the West Hill service 505 operates clockwise via Thornton Road, Bessingby Gate and Bridlington Hospital before returning to town, and the service 506 operates anti-clockwise from Bridlington Hospital, Bessingby Gate and Thornton Road, before returning to town.