Businesses rallying round may be the only way of saving Huddersfield’s axe-threatened free town centre bus.
And now Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman has urged businesses large and small to step in to save the popular service.
A Save Our Free Town Bus campaign has already been launched by Huddersfield Town Centre Partnership – backed by groups for elderly people – but Mr Sheerman wants businesses to step up.
Kirklees Council is faced with £150m of cuts and funding for free town buses in Huddersfield and Dewsbury is at risk.
Mr Sheerman said he accepted money had to be saved and urged the council to “think outside the box” and come up with new funding ideas.
“I understand that difficult decisions have to be made but what we need is a bit of imagination,” he said.
Mr Sheerman has been in touch with several large businesses in Huddersfield and hopes to set up a consortium to keep the bus on the road.
A meeting will be held at Huddersfield Media Centre this coming Saturday at 10am.
The bus operates on a circular route around the town centre linking stops such as the bus station, railway station, university and market hall and Mr Sheerman added: “In terms of quality of life for people it’s a big boon.
“It’s not just the older generation though. It also benefits mums with small children and pushchairs. It is vital to commercial life in the town.
“If we can get several businesses and organisations to subscribe we can take this bus service over ourselves and take the financial strain off the taxpayers.
“If the local authority cannot run the service any more, let’s run it ourselves.”