Why buses matter …

 

 

Last month’s Hornsea Community News carried an article about East Riding Council’s proposed cuts to its support of bus services and explained the direct impact on Hornsea.  Principally this will be felt on the 246 route to Beverley with the scrapping of early morning departures and a reduction in frequency during the middle of the day from one bus an hour to one every 2 hours – to come into effect in April next year.  Then from April 2018 the Sunday service will reduce to only one bus in each direction all day.  Sunday buses on the 220 route Aldborough would also go at the same time.

 

Recently I acquired the (rather grandiose!) title of Hornsea Parish Transport Champion and as such would like to encourage as many local people as possible to respond to the consultation, whether you are a regular bus user or not.  Why?  Well, in 1964 Hornsea lost its rail service and has since had to rely on buses for public transport.  In the years following we have seen a decline in bus use nationally and an inexorable rise in the number of cars on the road.  More cars means more pollution and more congestion.  Just in the last couple of months this paper has carried several letters about car parking in the town and the problems caused by vehicle queues at the traffic lights.  Then there is the danger posed to us all by road traffic accidents.  In the UK as a whole these currently account for around 5 deaths every day on average, and 62 serious injuries.

 

The number of cars licensed in England was 25.8 million at the end of last year.  That’s an increase of over 6% in five years and represents around one car for every two people.  But car ownership is not necessarily the same as car use.  It is possible to own a car, but leave it at home sometimes and catch the bus.  We see this among older people with bus passes and the 246 route is a good example. But whereas an hourly service can make this an attractive proposition, will that apply if it involves

a wait of two hours – or will people get the car out instead?

 

The town may well suffer in other ways too.  What happens to those who travel to Beverley for work?  The scrapping of early morning services may mean that some will have to go by car, whether they like it or not – or can really afford to.  Then there are the benefits brought by visitors to the town.  Do we really want them all to come by car, and will some choose to go elsewhere instead?  Under these proposals the last bus back from Hornsea to Beverley would be 16.30, whereas it’s 19.30 from Bridlington, and 22.42 by train!

 

The consultation runs until 28th August and there are several ways to respond.

Details are on the Council’s website: www.eastriding.gov.uk/haveyoursay                                                                     by email: BusConsultation2016@eastriding.gov.uk, or tel: 01482 395008.  You can view the proposals and pick up a form at the East Riding Customer Service Centre on Newbegin or from the library.  And there are drop-in sessions where you can discuss your concerns face-to-face with a Council officer.  The one for Hornsea is on Wed 10th August, 10.30 to 1.30 in the Town Hall.

 

We are assured this is a genuine consultation, and changes will be made if the case is strong enough!

 

John Rodgers

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