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Sustainable Transport questions

From Duncan Watson

Friday, 13 February 2015

I note that all Calder Valley candidates in the General Election which is less than three months away have responded to questions on public transport policies (See HebWeb News item, 10 Feb). In the summer of 2013 when the local bus service was under threat and the General Election was close to two years away Josh Fenton-Glynn was the only one of these who contacted the Hebden Bridger bus user group that was established to fight the proposed bus service cuts.

Josh contacted the group on his own initiative and asked what he could do to help the campaign. In my role in that group I had two long conversations with him late on weekday evenings where he demonstrated that he understood clearly what was at risk in the local community if the proposals to the services came to fruition. (Roughly there was a risk of buses serving local routes having only a quarter to a third of the current capacity and insufficient space for wheelchairs, pushchairs or shopping and thus forcing many people to walk, buy a car or use a taxi and peak times.)

Josh then contacted other members of the local Labour party and in particular the Chair of Metro Cllr James Lewis. He explained the situation to Cllr Lewis and arranged for him to take a ride on one of the routes that would be affected under the proposals. Cllr Lewis was able to see at first hand the impact the proposals would have and to discuss this with local users of the route. I am certain that this had a significant impact on Metro's decision making about this issue and this is entirely due to Josh's intervention.

Following this Metro commissioned a provider (TLC) who have installed new buses at the same capacity as the previous route; and while there has been some necessary compromise given decreasing centrally imposed budgets I am confident that the service we currently have is very much the better for the work of Josh Fenton-Glynn.

From Jenny B

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Without wishing to detract from the input described above, I do feel that people power had a lot to do with this.

Many more than the Town councillors put effort in. The Patish councillors, users and representatives of less able passengers contributed to saving the service.

Claims of credit for the service apart, isn't it a great service! TLC are reliable, punctual and the drivers are mainly great. Many of them have taken the trouble to get to know their passengers and riding on the bus becomes a friendly affair. I have seen parents put their children on to be met at the stop with the driver making sure that the child is collected before letting them off. They show concern if a regular is missing, ask after health of those who have been under the weather, and went the extra mile during the recent snow, keeping services going as long as possible.

I don't care who wants to take the credit, but I hope they are willing to keep it.

From Mo Norwood

Monday, 16 February 2015

As a regular traveller on the TLC buses I want to thank Josh, and everyone else who has worked to improve this vital service. There are many users of these routes who really benefit from them and would actually be lost without them. It is true that they develop their own sense of community and many of the drivers contribute to this in so many ways. For my part I thank them for their kind consideration to other road users - especially horses and their riders - they pass with real care and attention - thanks guys and gals!

See also

HebWeb News: General Election: questions to candidates on transport policies and fare rises 10 Feb