SWEEPING bus cuts are planned for Huddersfield and the surrounding area.
Details obtained exclusively by the Examiner show some services will be reduced and others dropped entirely in cost-cutting moves by operators.
As revealed on Tuesday, the 537 and 538 services, which go past Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, are being reduced.
But a document given to the Examiner shows that is only the tip of the iceberg.
In total 22 services could be cut back.
The provisional proposals, most of which are due to come into effect on July 19, have been slammed by the passenger transport authority, Metro.
Lindley councillor Tony Brice, Kirklees Council’s representative on Metro, said: “I’m furious and I’m trying to do something about it.
“These are swingeing cuts that will have a massive impact across Kirklees.”
Most parts of Huddersfield and the Colne and Holme valleys will be affected.
Bus operator First is in charge of most of the services. Centrebus and Arriva are also making cuts.
They say passenger numbers have fallen and the credit crunch has hit them hard.
But Clr Brice added: “We have already seen cuts in the Colne and Holme valleys and in those areas we have had to fight tooth and nail to get some of them reinstated.
“The scale of the cuts now forecast is totally unacceptable and there’s no way Metro can fund replacement services – that’s completely out of the question.
“As a council we are trying to promote reductions in carbon emissions by trying to get people out of their cars and onto public transport and we feel like we are banging our head against a brick wall.”
Metro chairman Chris Greaves said the cuts in Kirklees and others across West Yorkshire would “tear a hole in West Yorkshire’s transport network”.
He added: “Some people who now have access to local bus services will be left entirely stranded while a great many more will be inconvenienced by a worse service.
“Earlier this week First reported that profits from its UK bus operations had risen by 9.8% to £134m but at the same time it is trying to justify these cuts by blaming them on the current economic downturn.
“It shows a complete lack of imagination and business planning on their part.”
But Dave Alexander, managing director of First in West and North Yorkshire, said passenger numbers were falling on many routes and changes were needed for commercial reasons.
He said about 3.7% of services would be withdrawn in July.
He added: “Services or journeys are only being withdrawn where there are just too few people to justify them and it is neither economically nor environmentally wise to consume resources and produce emissions from empty buses.
“In what is an extremely challenging economic environment, we are demonstrating our flexibility by also looking hard to reduce our costs.
“This will ensure that change to services as a result of a decline in use at certain times, are minimised and that we can continue to invest in the business so that it is well prepared for the future.
“During the last 12 months First invested in excess of £35m in its business in the region and has committed to a further £12m in the current year.”
He said Metro now had time to look at replacing some of the lost services.
The full list of cuts is on the next page - if you're affected by the changes e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and have your say.
181: Huddersfield to Slaithwaite via Wilberlee and Linthwaite Church: Wilberlee service cut from half hourly to hourly
183: Huddersfield to Marsden Hard End: cut from half hourly to hourly
307: Huddersfield to Blagden Farm circular, via Cross Lane and Newsome: withdrawn. Cross Lane will have no service
324: Huddersfield to Meltham via Netherton: one fewer bus per hour
327: Huddersfield to Deighton via Birkby: Long Hill Road to be omitted
342: Huddersfield to Almondbury: reduced to every 30 minutes on weekday daytimes. Passengers on Ossett Lane, Walnut Lane and Earlsheaton will have to catch bus from Princess Lane or Syke Lane.
357: Huddersfield to Quarmby via Paddock: withdrawn
358: Huddersfield to Lowerhouses: reduced frequency to every half hour on weekday daytimes.
363: Huddersfield to Bradford via Brighouse: fewer early morning journeys on Saturdays
370: Rawthorpe to Lindley via Westgate: fewer early morning journeys on Saturdays
372: Almondbury to Lindley via Westgate: fewer early morning journeys on Saturdays
503: Halifax to Huddersfield via West Vale and Elland: every 12 minutes instead of every 10 minutes on Saturdays
537 and 538: Huddersfield to Halifax via Outlane, Stainland and Elland: withdrawn in evening (Possibly to be delayed until January 2010 for review of passenger needs).
84: Huddersfield to Denby Dale via Kirkburton, Shepley and Cumberworth: withdrawn/altered (tbc)
231: Huddersfield to Wakefield via Grange Moor, Flockton and Horbury: withdrawn/altered (tbc)
232: Huddersfield to Wakefield via Emley, Flockton and Horbury: withdrawn/altered (tbc)
234: Huddersfield to Flockton via Lepton: withdrawn/altered (tbc)
242: Huddersfield to Grange Moor via Waterloo and Lepton: withdrawn/altered (tbc)
261: Huddersfield to Upper Heaton via Waterloo and Kirkheaton: withdrawn.
263: Huddersfield to Upper Heaton via Dalton and Kirkheaton: to operate as 262 service from Huddersfield to Dewsbury via Waterloo, Kirkheaton and Mirfield. Service 262 will run more frequently.
116: Wakefield to Dewsbury: withdrawn.
H8: Holmfirth to New Mill via Scholes and Hepworth: subject to a review following trial period
20: Holmfirth to Barnsley: timetable changes
319: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Berry Brow via Marsh, Huddersfield and Newsome: minor changes to services.
80: Huddersfield to Clayton West and 84 Huddersfield to Denby Dale: minor changes to services.
185: Huddersfield to Marsden Dirker: increased from half hourly to every 20 minutes
301A and 302A: Huddersfield to Golcar: minor timetable changes.