East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight has got involved in the bid to save the hospital shuttle bus between Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals.
The 15-seat bus service is set to terminate on July 17 following an announcement from Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which says it cannot fund the bus any more, leaving residents in turmoil.
A number of petitions in the town have been set up against the decision to stop the shuttle bus service which transports thousands of people each year free of charge.
“The bus clearly provides a valued service and in my view, should be retained,” said Greg. “I am therefore making representations about the matter in the hope that the service can be retained.”
In 2007 the Independent Reconfiguration Panel advised to take the acute medical services out of Bridlington and transfer to Scarborough, with recommendations of extra funding the input into the ambulance service and began a trial of the shuttle bus in June 2008.
The Hospital shuttle bus, which was set up to take the extra patients and visitors the 22-mile journey to Scarborough, has operated 12 hours a day, seven days a week and was to be centrally funded.
Jane Hawkard, Chief Officer, East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “The CCG is committed to maintaining essential NHS services and improving health for all of our 301,000 local residents.
“We face a challenging financial year ahead as we continue to see levels of costs and demand for services increasing more rapidly than increases in our funding. The health and care of all our residents is of paramount importance.
“The CCG is aware the Bridlington/Scarborough shuttle bus is a popular service however we are not currently in a position to take over funding.
“We are a committed member of the Total Transport initiative within the East Riding and as part of that partnership will explore the potential for a bus service to be provided on which passengers could pay.”
“The CCG continues to provide a non-emergency Patient Transport Service (PTS) for suitable patients referred for consultations, treatment or procedures provided within the hospital or community setting. Patients suitable for PTS and need transport should call 0300 330 2000 when they receive an appointment.”
Passengers have told the Free Press they would be willing to pay a fee if it was to ensure the shuttle bus remained in operation.
Jean Wormwell, secretary of Pensioners’ Action Group East Riding, said: “I don’t think they realise what this is going to do for the town as this service is vital.
“Residents would certainly be willing to pay for the service but it is finding someone to provide the service.”