Letter: Council stepped in to help shuttle bus

The hospital shuttle bus which ran between Bridlington and Scarborough.
The hospital shuttle bus which ran between Bridlington and Scarborough.

I’m writing in response to the coverage of the Bridlington to Scarborough shuttle bus trial in the January 19 edition of the Free Press.

I was disappointed to read the comments claiming East Riding of Yorkshire Council used Bridlington as a “piggy bank” and did not look after the town.

The council stepped in to try to help local passengers by taking over a shuttle bus which the Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) decided to cancel in July last year.

This bus was originally launched and funded by the Scarborough health trust after it transferred acute medical services from Bridlington Hospital to Scarborough Hospital.

The council was under no obligation to take it over, this was not a publicly subsidised service, but we wanted to try to help the community.

We made it clear there were no promises we could keep it running after the initial trial period. It all depended on how well it was used. The initial three-month trial was funded by the council.

Bridlington Town Council, Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group, and York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust all supported the trial and were involved in reviewing its performance.

The three organisations made contributions towards funding the service which enabled us to extend it for a further three months to give it a second chance, and we appealed to the public to support it.

But the shuttle bus simply did not attract enough passengers to cover its running costs.

It actually only covered a third of its overall costs.

As no other sources of funding were offered, unfortunately the council was no longer able to carry on the trial.

The council is having to make major savings to its budget and needs to concentrate on the bus services it already subsidises.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council continues to make considerable investments in Bridlington, including the fantastic East Riding Leisure Bridlington and the improvements being made through the Bridlington Integrated Transport Plan.

Despite our efforts we were not able to continue the shuttle bus service, which was originally a health service project.

But I would like to thank the passengers who supported our bus and those who tried to promote it, and together we have tried our best to keep the shuttle bus going having stepped in to save it from being withdrawn.

Councillor Andy Burton

East Riding of Yorkshire Council