Statement from Haxby Town Council on City of York Council Bus Network Review and Dial & Ride provision
Haxby Town Council expresses its deep concerns over proposals put forward by City of York Council in their recent consultation on the York Bus Network Review. Haxby Town Council strongly opposes any planned reduction in bus service routes and frequencies in Haxby and Wigginton and urge City of York Council and bus operators to maintain our vital bus connectivity.
The Bus Network Review consultation (poorly advertised and launched just before Christmas) proposed that the half hourly number 13 service (operated by Connexions) would no longer serve Station Road, Towthorpe Road and West Nooks, instead looping back round via York Road. This proposed change would completely cut off the eastern side of Haxby from public transport and would make it impossible for residents who rely on the bus to access vital local services, including the Haxby and Wigginton Health Centre, as well as the pharmacies, shops, post office, dentists, primary schools, hairdressers and other services in and around Haxby Village.
It was also proposed, although no confirmation was made and insufficient detail was provided (since it depended upon CYC negotiation with the bus operator, First York), that a new hourly service (numbered ‘1A’) would be introduced to provide and maintain a reduced hourly service to the east of Haxby along Station Road. However, since limited timetable information was provided, it is unclear if this would restore connections to the shops and services in Haxby. Additionally, since this service was proposed to be a rerouted service 1, it is also unclear what this would mean for the frequency of services to the north and west of Haxby, as well as neighbouring Wigginton - i.e. a reduced timetable/frequency for service no 1.
It is likely that the impact of these two changes to services 1 and 13 would result in a significant reduction in service frequency and quality for north and east of Haxby and Wigginton. It is also unclear from the network review consultation as to what would happen to the Council sponsored late evening no 14 services to and from Haxby which currently serve our community, and are particularly beneficial for locally based shift workers and also enabling our residents to enjoy the evening economy safely and sustainably. The review also indicated some early morning, middle of the day, late evening, and some Sunday services to and from Haxby and Wigginton could be cut, further worsening the overall service.
At a time when we face a climate emergency and a cost of living crisis, we need to support and encourage residents to use public transport, yet this Network Review proposes to do the opposite for the residents of Haxby, by making bus services less frequent and thereby less attractive to new and existing bus users. Haxby Town Council therefore urges City of York Council, as well as the operator of the no 13 bus service (Connexions), to reconsider these proposals and maintain the services as they exist today, with half hourly connections to the east of Haxby along Station Road. This is especially important with the planned Haxby Station expected to be built on Towthopre Road within the next couple of years. Indeed service 13 should not only be maintained but also extended up to Strensall, providing public transport connections to the new station, as well restoring the bus connection between Haxby and Strensall (which was sadly cut in the 1990s).
Finally, on a separate public transport related issue, Haxby Town Councillors were saddened to hear about the termination of the popular ‘Dial & Ride’ community bus service operated by local York charity York Wheels. We understand that an unfortunate range of factors led to this service becoming unviable for the charity to continue to operate. Again, Haxby Town Council call on City of York Council to urgently address the need for a sustainably funded and operated community transport initiative, and to restore these much valued services and connections for our residents. The ‘Dial & Ride’ service facilitated residents, many of whom do not have a car or are unable to drive, and who otherwise cannot travel independently, to be able to make their weekly trips to the supermarket or into York with a door to door service. Not only did this maintain independence for local residents, but was also a vital for mental and physical wellbeing; since the trips these services were often the only time of the week when residents were able to socialise, shop for essentials, and otherwise conduct their business independently.
Published: 07/02/2024 Published by: Haxby Town Council
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