Fight to save bus services in Wetherby

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Campaigners fighting to save bus services in the Wetherby area have collected more than 350 signatures in a petition against the cuts.

Wetherby bus user Paul Kirby started the campaign against the proposals after bus company Metro announced its plans to cut a number of services on the 770 and X99 evening and Sunday routes between Wetherby and Leeds.

If introduced the plans will affect a number of journeys running through the villages of Bardsey, Collingham, Thorp Arch, Barwick, Boston Spa and Thorner.

Now Mr Kirby - who started the petition three weeks ago and has gained a total of 356 signatures- said the response to the campaign had been “astounding”.

In an email to the News, he said: “It is clear that the people of Wetherby and surrounding villages do care about keeping public services even if they do not use them themselves.

“It is most heartening that such a comparatively well-off community has rallied round like this. We can only hope that Metro do take the clear strength of feeling into account when making these, admittedly difficult, decisions.”

Mr Kirby said the petition has now been handed over to Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke, who has backed the campaign and will present the petition to Metro bosses ahead of the public consultation deadline, tomorrow, February 28.

The cuts are being put forward by West Yorkshire public transport operator Metro, who are proposing to withdraw a number of bus services across West Yorkshire.

The bus company said the Wetherby cuts were being put forward due to low passenger numbers and less funding from central Government, reducing Metro’s budget. A consultation about the proposals took place in Wetherby on February 14.

A Metro spokesman said: “Among the comments about the proposed changes was concern expressed by some people about the potential loss of the Sunday evening journeys on routes 770 and X99, for which Metro is proposing withdrawing its subsidy due to low passenger numbers.

“The consultation looks at how Metro can get better value for the council tax-payers money spent supporting bus services in Leeds.”

To view the proposals visit www.wymetro.com/busreview.