Petition to bring back village buses

Wendy Burton who set up the petition with parish councillor Neville Nicholson, Cllr Richard Burton and East Riding Council transport manager Colin Walker
Wendy Burton who set up the petition with parish councillor Neville Nicholson, Cllr Richard Burton and East Riding Council transport manager Colin Walker

Around 150 villagers turned out to a meeting to express their concerns after savage cuts to bus services in Bempton.

A petition was handed over East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s transport maanger Colin Walker, who answered questions from disgruntled residents.

Around 150 people packed into the village hall

Around 150 people packed into the village hall

Cllr Richard Burton, who chaired the event, said:“It was a feisty meeting, but it was well supported with 150 residents coming along, which was a good representation from the village.”

Bus company EYMS pulled the hourly 504 service, which served Bempton and Buckton six days a week, earlier this month, saying it was not financially viable.

That meant East Riding of Yorkshire Council had to withdraw its evening 502 route, so it could operate a temporary daytime bus on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays - but the latest bus back from Bridlington leaves at 1pm.

Cllr Burton said: “EYMS pulled out with not a lot of notice. We explained the process and got residents’ views. The council went to re-tender but nobody came forward, so it put on a bus service itself, which is more than it had to do.

Colin Walker answers questions from the floor

Colin Walker answers questions from the floor

“We were blessed with a comprehensive service, alongside the trains, and the shock is because we have gone from that to virtually nothing. It’s the sheer scale of the change.

“The bus we are using is actually a school bus, so we can only use it when it is not needed for schools, which means it runs a very limited service in the mornings.”

Cllr Burton said most residents were realistic and did not expect a return to the days of 70 return services every week, but there was a general acknowledgement that the current set-up was not enough.

He added: “I think most people realise we had a very comprehensive service that a lot of other villages don’t have.

“We won’t get back what we had in the past but we have a wish list, especially for something on a Saturday, and that is what we are working towards, as well as adding afternoons to the existing three days.

“We do have a lot of vulnerable and elderly people in the village who are reliant on buses so we are also trying to make people aware of other services, such as the HART community transport scheme and the Medibus