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Bus service under threat

From Julie C

Sunday, 1 July 2018

The 597 minibus service is under threat. It runs from Hope St in Hebden, to Mytholmroyd the up round Banksfield Estate, Ewood back down to Mytholmroyd, passing the station, up round Nest Estate and then back to the main road and on into Hebden again. 

This service, unreliable though it is - especially since the massive delays for the Flood works - is a total lifeline for local people. For the elderly and disabled it is often their only way of getting out, even to visit the doctors or go to the hairdresser. I mention those particular outings because they were ones being undertaken by a very elderly pair from Ewood, and a 95 year old partially sighted lady from Nest. 

Councillors from the area aiming to join us on part of the route on Thursday morning - 12th July -  the one that leaves Hebden at approx 10.30. If you use this bus how about coming along and telling them what it means to you.

Are anyone else's minibus services threatened? This is the crushing hand of austerity, plus being at the mercy of a privatised service.

From Kez Armitage

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Sadly I think other routes are under threat too. I suppose it was only a matter of time before we all felt the cold clammy hand of 'austerity' reaching out.

I can see the Fairfield/Eaves (598) service going soon.  The wonderful 906 from Hardcastle Craggs to Widdop Reservoir via Hebden, despite impressive passenger numbers,  will almost certainly run for the last time this year.

And so we'll all have to continue to drive around in a tonne of metal and plastic, guzzling petrol and diesel, and oblivious of the needs of those for whom public transport is a lifeline.

As I write this, I can hear the bell of St James' Parish Church in Mytholm tolling. It's something to do with the Arts Festival, I understand. But perhaps it simply laments the fact that nobody really cares anymore. How appropriate!

From David Thompson

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

At the time that Mrs Thatcher privatised the bus services I was living in Southampton.

I well remember the chaos that ensued. Privately operated buses raced each other to stops to compete for passengers, the Isle of Wight bus service, Southern Vectis, sent buses across on the IoW Ferry to compete on mainland routes. The private companies soon saw the profit to made from asset stripping. The bus station, in a prime city location, was sold and buses then were parked all over the city streets. 

Can anyone explain how Mrs Thatcher has become a legend, an almost saintly hero to some Conservatives despite this and the other failed privatisations? 

I hope that the incoming Labour government will develop a proper regulated and hopefully publicly owned public transport system.

In the meantime, who can we protest to about the threat to these vital services?

Oh, and can we have our reservoirs, railways, gas and electricity back too?