Doncaster bus services facing the axe

Doncaster is facing new cuts to bus services
Doncaster is facing new cuts to bus services
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Doncaster is set to be hit by a wave of bus service cuts - just months after a major shake-up of services in the borough.

The changes follow an £8.5 million cut in South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s budget and have already sparked concern among passengers.

Wendy Morris is opposed to planned bus cut

Wendy Morris is opposed to planned bus cut

The 59, 301, 302, 303, 304, and 420 services are due to be axed, with the 13 service replaced with a commercially-operated service. The X19 is also expected to be replaced.

Stephen Edwards, SYPTE’s director general, said the group had ‘managed to limit the impact’ of its reduced budget, but that it was now ‘unable to pay for some services to continue’.

Pensioners living in Cantley affected by the scrapping of the number 59 are among those opposed to the changes.

Wendy Morris, of Leyburn Close, Cantley, fears the axing of the route will leave some pensioners isolated because they will not be able to get a bus into the town centre.

The 59 runs between Doncaster and Wroot.

She said: “That bus goes through Finningley, Blaxton, Cantley and then all round the streets of Cantley. I will start a petition if there is enough interest. A lot of those who use that service are in their 80s and scrapping it will leave people tied to their homes. People are angry and something needs to be done.”

Mr Edwards said: “Through careful policy-setting in consultation with our customers, and innovative partnership working with local authorities and transport operators, we have managed to limit the impact that significant budget cuts are having on supported bus services in South Yorkshire, by securing the commercial operation of some routes.

“However, a £8.5m reduction in SYPTE’s public transport budget, compounded by the withdrawal of joint route funding from neighbouring authorities and low passenger numbers, means regretfully we are unable to pay for some services to continue to run.

“In the short term SYPTE is considering local solutions, and for the longer term we continue to work closely with Sheffield City Region Combined Authority to secure further devolved transport and funding control from Government that will offer more certainty over the future of the supported bus services we provide.”

A First South Yorkshire spokesman confirmed the 59 & 59a services will no longer operate from September 5 as funds provided by SYPTE had been withdrawn.

The firm said its 57 service will continue to run from Doncaster to Cantley, Branton, Auckley and Finningley, and that Door 2 Door transport is provided for residents by calling 01302 342400.

Anyone interested in supporting Mrs Morris’ petition should call 07808 742911.

The other cuts will affect the following services:

* 13/13a Rotherham to Mexbrough/Hooton Levitt: Service will replaced by commercially-operated service 13 and community transport services

* X19 Barnsley to Robin Hood Airport: Will no longer run and will be replaced by new service X1 which will operate between the A638 park and ride site and Robin Hood Airport

* 59 Doncaster to Wroot: Will no longer run as SYPTE and North Lincolnshire Council are unable to continue to fund this service

* 301, 302, 303 and 304 North Doncaster rural services: Will no longer run - SYPTE is unable to continue to fund this service. Community transport services are available in the area, operated by Doncaster Community Transport

* 420 Doncaster to Pontefract: Will no longer run - the service was funded by SYPTE, West Yorkshire Combined Authority and North Yorkshire County Council. North Yorkshire has scrapped its subsidy.