Calderdale councillor demands rethink over axed bus services

BrighouseCouncillor Scott Benton
BrighouseCouncillor Scott Benton

A Calderdale councillor is calling on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to reconsider the planned withdrawal and reduction of some bus routes which could leave residents isolated.

Brighouse Councillor Scott Benton, who leads the Conservative Group on the council, said while the changes on the whole were fairly minor, five of the 11 which were being changed across the borough affected Brighouse.

In particular he said he was concerned about changes to those serving the village of Clifton on which those without cars rely.
All these are being reduced in scope with one withdrawn completely, he said.

But the authority says this, the part-funded Arriva 225 linking Cleckheaton and Brighouse via Clifton, is being withdrawn because it operated on a limited number of afternoon and early evening journeys and was poorly patronised.

However, Coun Benton said: “I am very concerned about these changes to the buses which serve Clifton.

“Nearly all of the current bus services going through the village will either be reduced or changed, whilst the 225 service will completely stop.

“The lack of existing buses serving the village for elderly people and those without cars, is often raised on the doorstep and councillors have managed to secure extra routes from the bus companies for Clifton in the past.

“These changes, which take effect this week, will significantly reduce services and because the timetable changes have all taken place at once, it is difficult to know what the overall impact will be on those who use the different services.”

He called on the authority to use some of its funding to subsidise the services affected if it became clear the changes were not working.
Other routes affected include the following.

Coun Benton said he appreciated bus companies could not be be expected to operate at a loss but there was money in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) budget to subsidise services to places such as Clifton to ensure that they are not cut off and people who relied on public transport could get around.