STUDENTS travelling from this area to study in Barnsley have had their buses axed.

Students who travel from Skelmanthorpe to Barnsley College on the 235 and 236 buses will be left stranded after the services are stopped on Sunday, May 20.

Bus company Stagecoach has decided to withdraw services 235 and 236 from Huddersfield to Barnsley and replace them with new services 80, 81 and 82.

These will run to Clayton West and Denby Dale. During the day the 82 is timed to connect at Denby Dale railway station with trains to and from Barnsley.

But the buses will no longer take passengers from Skelmanthorpe to Barnsley.

Students have complained to Skelmanthorpe Community Action Group, which took the matter up with Stagecoach.

But they were told that students would just have to take a bus to Denby Dale, then catch a train to Barnsley.

Students say this will make their journeys far longer and more expensive.

At the moment their whole journey can be discounted by using a student bus pass - but these are not accepted on trains.

However, it is not just students who will be affected.

Action group vice-chairman Richard Graham said shoppers from Skelmanthorpe would no longer be able to get to Huddersfield or Barnsley easily.

He said: "There is also the problem that will be created for those who need to visit Barnsley Hospital and rely on existing bus routes.

"It is ironic that Government policy is for us all to leave our cars at home and use public transport. Stagecoach must be encouraged to rethink these closures."

Denby Dale councillor Elaine Ward is backing the group's demands for a rethink.

She said: "The closures will create havoc with residents who work in Barnsley."

Stagecoach Yorkshire managing director Paul Lynch said the changes had been made to improve services.

He said: "We are launching a range of new, improved services - which replace some existing ones - aimed at giving passengers a better service.

"Also, we have carried out some re-timing of buses at peak hours to increase reliability of the services.

"We have carried out the changes because passengers have told us, at times, that they weren't satisfied with service standards.

"We have listened to all of these comments and so are launching new services."

He added that £750,000 would be spent in December on new buses on the new 80, 81 and 82 routes.

The changes are part of a wider shake-up of Stagecoach's services.

From May 20 there will also be changes to services in Sheffield, Barnsley, the Dearne Valley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Wakefield and Pontefract.

Mr Lynch said: "We acknowledge that our bus services have, at times, been unreliable and on certain services have been poor in quality. We want to put this right.

"Passengers should find a huge improvement in our services, but we will continue to strive to make these services even better."

The company has invested £2.2m in 22 new buses in the past year, including easy access low-floor vehicles.

* For more information on the changes call Traveline on 01709 515151 or download new timetables from

If passengers want to comment on the changes they can write to Stagecoach Yorkshire, Customer Services, Upper Sheffield Road, Barnsley S70 4PP.