Rethink urged on bus changes

Bempton residents have started a petition against the new timetables.
Bempton residents have started a petition against the new timetables.

Residents angry about forthcoming changes to bus services around Bridlington met with a manager from EYMS to explain how they will be ‘cut off’ by the new routes.

A meeting was held on Monday, attended by the Rev Matthew Pollard, Cllr Richard Burton, Bob Rackley, EYMS’ commercial manager, and more than 20 people who live around Kirkgate.

EYMS operations manager Bob Rackley and the Rev Matthew Pollard

EYMS operations manager Bob Rackley and the Rev Matthew Pollard

Felix McCormick, who helped to organise the discussion, said the new timetables which come into effect next week, will leave many elderly people having to walk to Westgate or Jubilee Avenue to board a bus.

He said: “I’m 63 so I am one of the younger ones in our complex, but if I am going to struggle to walk to the nearest bus stop, what will the older people do?

“We can’t all afford taxis. People are very worried.”

Felix said he felt some of the services for New Pasture Lane and Bempton Lane could amend their routes to go past the Priory, which would not cause any extra time to journeys.

“I’m pleased he seemed to take a lot on board,” he said.

“We are not asking for too much. We’d be happy with a service every couple of hours.

“We’ve given them a solution and the only cost would be printing a new timetable.”

It comes after Bempton residents have launched a petition after their village will see its 70 return services a week slashed to just six.

Mr Rackley told the Free Press: “All the changes we are introducing are as a result of the company’s deteriorating trading position.

“We are reducing our fleet by 5% and closing our Hornsea depot. The main cause of this is declining reimbursement for concessionary travel from East Riding Council.

“This has fallen 13% in real terms per passenger in the last three years and is a particular issue in Bridlington where 70% of passengers travel on free passes.

“Cuts in the council’s contracted service network have also reduced the contribution from this work to other parts of the business.

“Where services are unviable we give notice to the council and they have powers under the Transport Act to provide contracted services by competitive tender.

“East Riding (Council) have only a limited budget for such services and the reduced service level was their decision based on their budget priorities.”