An 11-tonne bus which has been a familiar sight at Whitby for eight years is on the market.
Elizabeth the Steam Bus has now been put up for sale – dashing hopes that a dispute between its owners and Scarborough Council could be resolved.
Owners Viv and Vernon Smith had claimed that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the attitude of the local authority to a request for Elizabeth to be watered for 12 days a year at Whitby Marina when their usual hosts Whitby Town FC are busy on match days. In a statement, Scarborough Council strongly refuted claims that it was somehow to blame for the owners’ decision and said that the owners had not replied to some emails.
It added: “We are also disappointed that rather than communicate with our officer, the owners have chosen to stir up an unnecessary frenzy in the press and on social media, which has led to many incorrect conclusions being made.
“Our staff at Whitby Tourist Information centre have been accused of saying they do not know anything about Elizabeth when visitors make enquiries about her.
“Again, we strongly refute this accusation. If asked, all our staff will tell customers where Elizabeth operates from and give people directions to the pick-up point if they are unsure of the way.”
The statement continued: “In conclusion, we feel that the willingness of the council and Welcome to Yorkshire in recent years to support the steam bus has unfortunately not been met with realistic co-operation from its owners and we will not accept that our actions have forced the owners to take the decision to stop operating in Whitby.”
Mr Smith said that the attraction will carry on until November 2 which will be the last day of operation.
He said: “There is no positive relationship between us and the council and no will on either side to resolve this problem. We have had phenomenal support from people locally. People have been hugely supportive.”