Drastic bus cuts will have severe impact on rural economy

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From: Ruth Annison, Askrigg, Leyburn, North Yorkshire.

THE key question about timetables for bus users is “Will I be able to get there and back, with enough time at the destination to complete the purpose of my journey?”

County councillors are considering a proposed cut of 40 per cent in subsidy for bus services in seven district council areas of North Yorkshire. These are Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby.

If implemented, these cuts would have far-reaching consequences for individual passengers, employers and the local economy, including tourist businesses.

I understand that the next date in the decision-making process is a meeting of the relevant Scrutiny Committee, to be held at County Hall, Northallerton, at 10am on Thursday, December 19.

The agenda for this meeting, names of committee members and other information is on the county council’s website www.northyorks.gov.uk.

Members of the public may attend to hear the discussion; it is also worth checking whether there will be an opportunity to address the meeting or ask questions, if the chairman is notified of details in advance.

During the recent public consultation, it was suggested to NYCC that cuts should be postponed until next autumn to:

Cover the busy tourist season, including the Yorkshire Grand Départ event in July

Take account of responses received during the public consultation (ended November 25);

Allow for an informed review and assessment of the consequences of the proposed cuts

Offer an opportunity to revise and improve the proposed timetables.

I hope that councillors will bear in mind the following comment from a report published by the Campaign for Better Transport: “All policies that aim to improve local economies, tackle unemployment and ensure equal access to educational opportunities depend on buses.”

From: Allan Ramsay, Radcliffe Moor Road, Radcliffe.

THE latest figures from the DVLA show that the number of UK drivers who now have a minimum three points on their licence stands at 574,955.

Nearly 5,000 text messages are sent every second in the UK.

Mobile phone users sent more than six billion texts during last December – a record for a single month.

Revellers sent 290 million texts on New Year’s Eve alone.

If just one per cent of those 
texts are sent by drivers, that’s a threat no police force can handle.

Might mobile phone drivers be a far greater risk than drink drivers this festive season?

Won’t the price of a stamp lead to even more festive texts?

Clearly the police and the deterrent (three points and 
a £100 fine) aren’t up to the 
job of making our roads safe, so why not an outright ban, 
the same as for drink/drug driving?

Transport Research Laboratory figures show that the reaction time of a driver using a 
mobile is slowed significantly – not unlike that of a driver 
at twice the legal drink drive 
limit.

Even the DfT “THINK” road safety site says: “You’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving.”

It adds: “Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50 per cent slower than normal driving.”

With our A&E’s under immense pressure, and emergency services taking longer to respond, shouldn’t anything and everything be put in place to reduce road casualties?

Get the killers off our roads! Even the well-off can’t afford to have a funeral at Christmas!