Passenger anger at bus cuts plans

A number of bus services in the Wetherby area could be axed by transport bosses.

And a Wetherby resident has hit out at what he claims is poor publicity of Metro’s plans to cut 11 journeys because of user decline.

Paul Kirby said: “It would take an extremely curious bus passenger to find any of this information.

“Myself as a keen bus user only found out because someone told me. It is a disgrace.”

Proposed routes to be withdrawn include night and Sunday services on the 770 and X99 Leeds to Wetherby which run through Scarcroft, Thorner, Bramham and Boston Spa.

A consultation by Metro – the coordinators of public transport across West Yorkshire – is currently being carried out ahead of a streamlined bus network in July.

Mr Kirby added that he was disappointed that no public consultations were being carried in the Wetherby area and said he had seen no notifications about the changes on the X99 buses themselves.

Chairman of Metro, John Henkel explained: “In common with the West Yorkshire district councils, Metro has to reduce its expenditure in line with the reduced public funds available.

“Our scope to do so is constrained as we have very little discretion over spending on concessionary fares and rail services.”

On publicity he added: “Prior to the current consultation process, we provided briefing information to all Leeds City Council members and to MP’s offices both on the proposals and the arrangements for consultation.

“We discussed the approach with ITA members at the Bus Scrutiny Committee meeting of 28th November 2012. We have also briefed the Leeds City Council Scrutiny Board on these proposals on 20th December 2012.”

The nearest consultation to Wetherby will take place tomorrow at Tesco in Seacroft, between 10am and 2pm.

Wetherby’s MP Alec Shelbrooke, said: “In ongoing conversations with Metro I have stressed that consultation with passengers is vital and this news is therefore very disappointing. It is my intention to speak with providers this week and raise these concerns again, highlighting how poorly served Wetherby is on an evening.”