BUSES are a lifeline for rural communities across Yorkshire, particularly for elderly residents who rely on them and might otherwise face isolation or difficulty in getting around.
Children also rely on buses to get them to and from school, so cuts to the support that services receive is a matter of serious concern to those living in the countryside.
Villages and market towns are not well served by public transport as it is, and those holding the purse strings of support need to realise that to these communities, rural buses are not a luxury, but a necessity.
Everyday tasks such as getting to the shops, or an appointment with the doctor, can become a major challenge for those without their own transport, and if there are no buses, this can have a serious effect on their health and well-being.
There is also a wider issue for rural communities in losing public transport.
The countryside can struggle to retain young people, or attract new residents, and a lack of services is an important contributory factor in this.
Population decline goes hand-in-hand with the problem of economic deprivation that is, regrettably, all too prevalent in parts of our region.
If more bus services are to be cut because of a lack of funding, it will only aggravate this problem, making the countryside a less attractive place to live and work.
A way must be found to keep rural buses running, because their importance far outweighs the relatively modest cost of doing so.