Bus cuts could cause ‘chaos’ if service hit

Filey Bus station Picture Richard Ponter 125107
Filey Bus station Picture Richard Ponter 125107

Council plans to scrap “lifeline” bus services in Filey and Hunmanby could cause chaos at doctors’ surgeries if they are approved.

Sick and elderly patients could miss appointments at Filey surgery, if the town’s “little bus” is scrapped in favour of a Dial-A-Ride service, under controversial county council proposals.

Residents would have to book the bus but with no specific arrival time, meaning they could be hours late for appointments.

Cllr Sam Cross, who was holding the meeting, also warned that the cuts would have a huge impact on college pupils and those working in Scarborough.

It was just one of the major concerns raised at a heated public meeting at the Evron Centre on Monday, held by the county councillor to discuss the plans.

Over 100 people packed into the venue to discuss the proposed cuts, and to also explore what could be done if the cuts are implemented.

One option discussed was the formation of a “bus club”, which would see residents pay a nominal fee to privately retain the current bus, and driver Colin Galway.

At the meeting, Mr Galway received a rapturous round of applause before launching into an impassioned defence of the stricken service, adding that Dial-a-Ride is a “poor relation” to the current service.

“Dial-a-Ride do a good job at what they are doing, but it does not replace a bus service,” said Mr Galway.

The cash-strapped authority is planning on scrapping several services in Filey and Hunmanby, as it looks to save £150m by 2019.

However, at the meeting, borough councillor Mike Cockerill presented figures which showed the under-threat service was one of the least subsidised in the region.

And Cllr Cross said: “The bus not only gets people around, it keeps businesses going.”

And speaking of Mr Galway, he added: “Where else do you get this type of service in the so-called big society?

“He’s a friend, not just a service to make money.”

Urging people to complete the online consultation prior to the November 25 deadline, Mr Galway added: “The louder that we all shout, the more chance of them saying leave them alone.”