Victory as Wetherby bus services saved

Wetherby resident and MP Alec Shelbrooke outside Wetherby bus stop after the campaign to stop bu cuts was a success.
Wetherby resident and MP Alec Shelbrooke outside Wetherby bus stop after the campaign to stop bu cuts was a success.
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Campaigners fighting to save bus services in the Wetherby area have scored a victory after it was announced they would not be axed.

The decision to keep the X99 and 770 Sunday evening services were revealed last week by Metro after hundreds of signatures were gathered by residents to save the bus services between Wetherby and Leeds.

Wetherby campaigner Paul Kirby, who started the petition which collected more than 350 signatures, said: “This is great news and what we wanted to hear. Common sense has prevailed. I want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of this campaign.”

The cuts, put forward by public operator Metro, would have affected a large number of villages in the area including Thorp Arch, Collingham, Boston Spa and Scarcroft.

In an email to Mr Kirby, Metro bosses said it was clear that though services were not “well-used” in the area, they remained popular.

It stated: “During the consultation process, we received many comments about the provision of Sunday evening services between Wetherby and Leeds.

“It became very clear that despite the fact that the services were not well used, many people wanted the present services to continue.

“It was decided to try and maintain the service if it could be done within the overall budget for the Leeds area.

“There will now be no change to the Sunday evening services between Wetherby and Leeds.”

Bosses added that the cost of the Sunday evening services between Wetherby and Leeds could be maintained in their budget for the next three years.

Wetherby MP Alec Shelbrooke said: “I’m delighted that we have managed to retain this important Sunday evening bus service.

“We have put up a fight for this service and it is great news that Metro will continue to fund the service for the next three years.”

But Mr Shelbrooke added work needed to be done on services in the wider area after concerns were raised over the reliability of services in Scholes, Aberford and Barwick. Survey figures published last month in the News showed that more than 500 people had responded to a questionnaire about services in these areas.