Bus routes set to be scrapped

BUS services across the Spen Valley could be drastically altered in a bid to cut costs.

Metro has launched a review into services in North Kirklees as it tries to reduce its expenditure by 25 per cent.

Five services are earmarked for changes, including the rerouting of the popular Metro Local service away from Scholes, to cover Hunsworth instead.

The 223 Mirfield to Leeds service, which goes through Heckmondwike, will see fewer evening buses covering the route.

An early morning 255 bus connecting Leeds, Halifax and Spen, could be withdrawn and there are plans to merge the 255 with 254 route, to ensure Scholes is still served by at least one bus per hour.

However, it would mean that residents in Moorside, Cleckheaton, would have to make do with a reduced 253 evening service.

Coun Andrew Pinnock, who sits on the Integrated Transport Authority (ITA), said he expected some Scholes residents to feel ‘disquiet’ with the changes.

“One of the things I am concerned about is that the ML3 service would be re-routed up Hunsworth Lane to East Bierley and then return,” he said.

“That would mean that the villages would be connected to Bradford.

“That is all right if you have ‘through’ tickets but we don’t have them here yet.

“The ML service is run by a company on behalf of Metro, but the service from East Bierley is run by Arriva so would need two different tickets.”

Elsewhere, the 256 service joining Bradford and Brighouse, via Cleckheaton, will be revised in September, but fails Metro’s ‘value for money’ test by costing £110,000 per year to run.

The route could be scrapped and replaced with several separate services including extending the new 255 route from Scholes to Brighouse.

“The 256 service is the biggest target for cuts as it is completely subsidised by Metro from Bradford, to Cleckheaton and then Brighouse,” Coun Pinnock said.

“It’s tax payers’ money so Metro needs to look at the routes to get value for them.

“The important thing is that people need to send in their comments.

“But people should be realistic.

“It’s no good saying there should be a bus service to your area, if people don’t use it themselves.

“Comments should come from people who use the services and would be seriously inconvenienced by the proposals.”

The public will get their chance to tell Metro what they think of the plans over the next few weeks at venues across the district.

The changes would then be formally considered later in the year, before being brought into force in January 2013. Visit http://bit.ly/Kaiswn for the plans.