Fares up to save bus services from axe

BUS passengers will have to pay an increase in their fares to preserve services on the North Yorkshire coast which were threatened with the axe.

The evening services between Whitby, Sleights and Robin Hood’s Bay were under threat after North Yorkshire County Council is having to withdraw subsidies as part of cutbacks totalling £69m.

But the routes run by Arriva North-East have been given an 11th hour reprieve – although passengers will have to pay an extra £2 per journey from the middle of next month.

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While passengers with concessionary fares cannot legally be forced to pay, they will be asked to make a donation. The fare supplement pilot could now be used as a blueprint to help protect other at-risk bus services.

The council’s executive member for business and environmental services, Coun Clare Wood, admitted there was no other option than to shift the financial responsibility on to passengers.

But she maintained that the public had said they were willing to pay more for services rather than lose them altogether.

Coun Wood added: “We have done everything we can to keep the services going, but there was no other option than to introduce the fare supplements.

“We are having to take some tough decisions at the moment, although people did tell us they are willing to pay more to keep the services going. I do hope people will do as they say, because it really is a case of use it or lose it.”

Meanwhile, Scarborough Borough Council’s licensing committee has agreed to introduce a 20p fare increase on every cab journey from May 1.

The cost of a standard three-mile journey will increase by 3.2 per cent from £6.20 to £6.40. The last fare increase in the Scarborough area was introduced in July 2008.

The Scarborough and District Taxi Association claimed the latest rise was necessary to counter the increasing cost of living and fuel.