Future of bus still in balance

Campaigners and councillors on the hospital shuttle bus
Campaigners and councillors on the hospital shuttle bus

Passenger numbers on the Bridlington Hospital shuttle bus appear to be on the increase – but it could still stop at the end of January.

The service is midway through a second 12-week trial period, where it will need to prove there is enough demand.

The bus takes patients and visitors between Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals, but funding for the service ended in the summer.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council agreed to keep the bus running, with passengers now paying £5 for a return trip, instead of enjoying free travel.

A council spokesman said: “We continue to monitor the numbers of people using the shuttle bus in this second pilot period.

“Numbers are reasonably positive so far, but we would certainly encourage more people to use it.

“The message is very simple – ‘use it or lose it’.

“We hope to have discussions very soon with the other partners involved, to talk about the future of the service.”

After the first 12-week pilot scheme ended in October, it was revealed fares were only covering a quarter of the £8,000 needed each month.

Bridlington Town Council has sent out more than 17,000 copies of the timetable to local homes in a bid to promote the service.

Mayor Cllr Liam Dealtry said he was pleased to hear passenger numbers were heading in the right direction but urged more people to support the bus.

“Figures that are ‘reasonably positive’ are not going to be enough to save the bus. We still need more people.”