Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from N and H Rowland (BUS 26)

We are writing to express our horror at the proposed cuts to bus services throughout the Whitby area.

We cannot believe that NYCC is still contemplating so many cuts when it is so apparent from the feeling at Meetings held in the area that residents are so concerned about the devastating effect this will have on their lives, and ultimately, on the town.

This is predominantly a rural area where many residents rely totally on public transport.

Whilst we appreciate that cuts need to be made in the current climate, we implore you to reconsider the fate of local routes around Whitby, Ruswarp, Sleights (the 95) and links to Scarborough and Middlesbrough.


1.  Hospital and Hospice Visiting

Services at Whitby Hospital are being reduced and transferred to Middlesbrough and Scarborough. How will friends and family be able to visit patients in other towns? Evening and weekend visits would be impossible.

2.  Hospital Appointments

As appointments scheduled for the afternoon may be lengthy, it is likely that patients may not be ready in time to catch a bus back home and be stranded at a hospital.

3.  Commuting to work

The majority of jobs in these towns are in the tourism industry, covering evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays. These are when bus services are proposing to be axed. As was stated at the Whitby Meeting by one such worker, taxi fares are prohibitive for anyone on minimum wages.

4.  Bus Drivers

Bus drivers will have their hours cut resulting in loss of earnings.

5.  Young people

Reduced services would impact greatly on social interaction of young people in our area. They would be unable to go to events outside their own village/town. This would extend to sporting events, extra curricular activities at schools and colleges. Our young people would be penalised for living outside a town or city where activities may be within walking distance.

6.  Evening Classes

Attendance at Evening Classes and Leisure Centre activities would not be possible without access to a private car. As a Nation, we are being encouraged to keep fit and exercise but this is limited to car owners. This is yet another example of how people in our area would be discriminated against.

7.  Art and Culture

Whitby and Scarborough have received funding for their theatres. Whitby has recently got facilities for showing films. Performances are usually in the evening, at weekends and on Bank Holidays. These new facilities would become redundant and some residents would be unable to join local amateur groups. Whitby has a musical tradition and there are many groups which meet regularly, in the evening, to promote the creative arts.

8.  Sports

Training sessions for our local teams could be impossible to attend unless a private car is available as sessions take place on week- day evenings. Spectators at evening games and those scheduled for Sundays and Bank Holidays may be excluded.

9.  Voluntary Work

This would be at variance with Government Policy inviting everyone to volunteer their time. As many opportunities for volunteering are linked with Tourism, it is expected that volunteers would be able to come into town at week-ends and on Bank Holidays which are the main times when they would be required. Moreover, if young people want to be involved, it would have to be outside school/college hours. Often voluntary work is an integral part of a Course for young people and many would be at a disadvantage if they did not have access to private transport.

10.  Social Isolation

The proposed cuts to buses in a rural area such as this would result in social isolation for may people, in particular, the Elderly, the Disabled and those friends and family who care for them and visit them.

11.  Visitors

Visitors to Whitby may be staying in an outlying village, eg Sleights or Ruswarp. They rely on being able to use public transport to go into Whitby in an evening for meals and entertainment. B&B and Hotel owners in these villages would lose trade if bus services were to be axed in the evening and on Sundays and Bank Holidays, peak times for visitors. Day trippers from other towns would not be able to come to the seaside and Whitby residents would not be able to shop and use the facilities available only in larger towns. This would impact seriously on a fragile tourist industry.

12.  Green Policy

Several bus stops around town have a sign which claims that "this bus can take 35 cars off the road." We fail to understand how the County Council's proposed decimation of the regional bus services can be reconciled with Government Policy to combat climate change. Surely this is an absolute variance to measures which need to be taken to reduce the carbon footprint by taking private cars off the road. Moreover, this would add to worse congestion problems, especially in Whitby where the Park and Ride Scheme has been placed on hold.

Scarborough, Whitby and Filey claim that this is "a great place to live, work and play" but clearly, NOT after 7.00 pm, on a Sunday, or Bank Holiday.

January 2011

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Prepared 11 August 2011