Hospital shuttle bus service restarts after police inquiry

Simon Bristow

A SHUTTLE bus service carrying patients and visitors between Bridlington and Scarborough hospitals has been relaunched following a police investigation into its previous operator.

Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust suspended the service after it emerged police were investigating licences held by North of England Ambulance Service.

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The free, hourly service has now been resumed with minibuses run by Dial A Ride.

The company will operate the service until June 30, when the trust will carry out a review of the arrangement.

Trust spokesman Simon Weedy said: “We are pleased to announce that the shuttle bus service between Scarborough and Bridlington Hospitals will resume for patients, visitors and their escorts or carers.

“Once again we would like to take this opportunity to apologise to patients and visitors for any inconvenience and for your patience during this time.”

The resumption of the service has been welcomed by health campaigners.

The chairman of the Save Bridlington Hospital Campaign Action Group, Mick Pilling, said the service provided a lifeline for residents in both towns.

He said: “It’s a lifeline for patients, visitors and staff because without it it means getting two buses or a train and a bus, or if you are in your car it’s 12 in petrol or 20 to 25 in a taxi.

“It’s essential we have this shuttle bus running, a lot of people use it when they are going to Scarborough for blood tests, appointments or to go in hospital.”

Mr Pilling also called for the service to be extended by an hour to have a last bus at 9pm to coincide with the end of visiting hours.

A spokesman for North of England Ambulance Service said it was no longer running the buses because of issues surrounding “vehicle licensing and taxation categories”.

North Yorkshire Police confirmed it was investigating the previous company.

A spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police’s investigation into the licences held by the company who operate the service is still at a very early stage and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”