Buses run five times a day as a social service

I am taking this unusual step of writing a letter, so any residents of Illingworth and Mixenden that may have read a political leaflet, (presumably distributed in their area) about the withdrawal of the T.J. Walsh Round Hill Bus Service on Saturdays, will have the opportunity to have the full and proper facts which differ to those of this leaflet.

In this leaflet a statement was made that our company was stopping the 700 bus service to Round Hill on Saturdays for predominately economic reasons.

It was withdrawn on Saturdays for timetable reliability issues, as it was affecting the rest of our service and for the majority of its time was only carrying between one and three people all day.

A statement was made that the bus service that serves the retired people of Mozeley Drive, Whitehill Road and Round Hill was the only link retired people have for visits to the doctors, supermarkets and the town centre. The doctors’ surgeries on this route are not open on Saturdays. This service has never operated in Whitehill Road.

A statement was made that the nearest bus service is now half way on School Lane, requiring a walk up a steep hill for residents.

Residents of Mozeley Drive can walk on the level to Occupation Lane, where there is a bus available at least every five minutes throughout the day.

Residents of Round Hill do have to walk uphill but can catch our 700 service much nearer at the bottom of Occupation Lane, as we operate this section on a hail and ride basis.

A statement was made that a campaigner had organised a petition, which had been handed into T.J. Walsh showing large support to retain this service.

This is not true. A petition has never been handed in to our company.

A statement was made that this service was crucial for the retired people of this area and if not viable, the Transport Authority should make funds available to secure the service.

I had a full, honest and lengthy phone discussion regarding the withdrawal of this service on Saturdays and made the reasons absolutely clear. I was also clear that even if funds could be found to subsidise this service on a Saturdays, I would still not consider reinstating it, as it was about reliability, not profit.

I explained that if it was about profit I would have withdrawn all the Round Hill services completely.

We are still operating a Monday to Friday service, five times a day to Round Hill as a social need service. We still operate that without subsidy and at cost to our company and have done for the last thirteen years.

Despite being honest and open about the withdrawal of this service, I am extremely disappointed to find what I believe it to be unfair and misleading statements printed in a leaflet. Some of these are not factually correct or true, but are presumably being made to enhance political ambitions.

I think very careful consideration should have been given to the printing of these statements, as they may have caused damage to the goodwill and reputation of my company.

Neil Walsh,

Managing Director,

TJ Walsh Buses