Huddersfield Boxing Day buses could be cut – and Batley and Cleckheaton bus stations could close
Nov 4 2010 by Joanne Douglas, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
BOXING Day buses could run for the last time this year.
Budget cuts mean that Metro could cancel the services in 2011 – leaving around 54,000 people in West Yorkshire unable to get about.
Since 2007, Metro has funded Boxing Day bus services to fulfil demand for those wanting to visit shops and restaurants which are now open the day after Christmas.
But Metro have warned that if their funding from the five West Yorkshire councils, including Kirklees, is ‘significantly reduced’ they will reconsider running the Boxing Day services for 2011.
Accounts for the last financial year show they get £91.4m net from district council levies – from Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.
Clr Chris Greaves, Metro chairman said: “Although almost 54,000 people in West Yorkshire took advantage of our Boxing Day services in 2009, which was an increase of 10% over the previous year, these are exactly the kind of services that Metro has warned it may have to consider cutting if our funding from the five West Yorkshire Councils is significantly reduced.
“The Government has assured us that the private sector will step into fill the gap where there are public sector cuts, but to date Metro’s requests for support to the retailers and other companies that are benefiting from Boxing Day services have been politely turned down.
“It would be shame if these popular and successful services, which must generate a substantial economic benefit each year, are allowed to disappear.”
It comes as Metro look to make other cuts to service provision including:
Sunday services which currently cost £1.6m
Early morning services which currently cost £1.75m
Late evening services which currently cost £1.6m
Free City and Town Buses in Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Dewsbury, costing £1.1m
AccessBus provision which provides a lifeline for some of the most vulnerable members of society at a cost of £2.2m per year;