Barwick and Scholes

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Ron Miller

07717 150625

Bus route changes: with their protests to Metro apparently falling on deaf ears, Scholes bus users face the reality this coming weekend of major, unwelcome changes in bus services, routes and timetables. Service 64A will no longer serve Scholes but Service 64 will continue to operate from Barwick to Leeds city centre, via the Coronation Tree at Scholes. Services from Scholes to the city centre will, from Sunday, be operated by an hourly Service 11. This will now run from Seacroft to Cross Gates, via Scholes, using the same route as Service 63, which will be withdrawn completely. Also being withdrawn are Services 63A and 63B, which linked Scholes with Seacroft and Temple Newsam. However, a new Service 11A will provide an hourly evening and Sunday service between Leeds city centre and Cross Gates, running via Seacroft and Scholes. There are both winners and losers as a result of these changes. Scholes villagers living in residential streets who objected to Service 64A passing their homes – some expressing their displeasure by allegedly obstructing the road with parked vehicles – will welcome the service being withdrawn. Also, some Barwick villagers did not like Service 64A going into Scholes as this extended their journey time by up to 10 minutes, or longer if roads in the village were partly blocked by residents’ vehicles. Scholes in Bloom volunteers and other villagers will be pleased that buses will no longer damage grass verges and planted areas by making tight turns into Belle Vue Road. However, many Scholes residents, especially commuters and elderly passengers, remain deeply upset that their bus service is once again being changed, with longer journey times and, at best, an hourly service. Following numerous calls and emails to the chairman of Metro from Coun Ben Hogan, chairman of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council, a face-to-face meeting between Scholes villagers and Metro officers is to be held during August, on a date to be agreed, at which the future of bus services to and from Scholes can be discussed. Metro insist that cuts in rural bus subsidies by cash-strapped local councils have made service and routes changes inevitable. They also say that the numbers of passengers using services to and from Scholes does not justify a more frequent service. Resident respond that the service would be better used if it was more reliable, with all services operated in line with the published timetables.

Public meeting: more than 120 people attended a recent public meeting organised by the lobby group Save Our Scholes. Held at St Philip’s Church, the meeting was chaired by Scholes resident George Hall, who is well known for his knowledge of planning issues. Other speakers included Dave Cove, of the Council for the Protection of Rural England and David Ingham, representing Wharfedale and Airedale Rural Development. Further information about key issues discussed and decisions made will be published in this column next week.

Legion’s disappointment: members of the Barwick and Scholes branch of the Royal British Legion have expressed disappointment that Elmet MP Alec Shelbrooke did not call at the Legion stand at the recent Scholes Gala. According to Matt Baker, secretary of the branch, Mr Shelbrooke visited an adjacent stand but “walked straight past us” to another stand. Members had hoped their MP would acknowledge local people’s achievement in reviving the local branch, which a few months ago faced closure due to declining membership, as well as recognising the national work of the Legion in supporting ex-service personnel and their families. Expressing thanks to the many individuals and local businesses who donated books and more than 100 tombola prizes, Coun Baker said just over £135 was raised for the legion during the event.

Christmas lights decision: the parish council has declined a request from a number of residents in Leeds Road, Scholes, for Christmas lights to be displayed in a large tree near the entrance to the village, at least for this year. Coun Geoff Yapp said the cost of additional lights would not be appropriate in the current economic climate though the request could be re-considered for future years. Councillors approved spending £1,700 to have Christmas lights installed in several trees in both Barwick and Scholes during the next Christmas period.