The collapse of a bus company has left local communities in Lindley, Marsh, Quarmby, Salendine Nook and Mount without an important local service.
CT Plus Yorkshire, which operated the 377 and 378 bus routes connecting Mount to Huddersfield via Quarmby or Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, ceased trading and went into administration on August 8.
Now Liberal Democrat councillors Anthony Smith and Cahal Burke have launched a petition urging Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin to bring back the service with a new operator.
The Mayor and West Yorkshire Combined Authority run bus services in the county and are responsible for finding new operators.
Clr Smith said: “A number of residents have already contacted us to express their concern that the bus services have been withdrawn. Many of our residents relied on these vital bus services and do not have access to a car.
“These services provide vital transport links for many people across the Lindley ward, serving residents in Marsh, Quarmby, Salendine Nook and Mount. The sudden collapse of CT Plus has left a lot of people being unable to travel and feeling isolated.
“The services were a lifeline for many people across Lindley. It’s vital we get them back.”
Clr Burke added: “West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Mayor are responsible for finding alternative operators, so we are calling for them to intervene urgently.
“We are urging residents who are concerned about the loss of these bus services to contact us and to sign our petition.”
The petition can be found at: https://www.kirkleeslibdems.org.uk/lindleybuses.
At the time of the bus firm’s collapse Ms Brabin expressed her disappointment and said she feared other bus operators will also be under threat.
She said: “Bus patronage hasn’t risen as quickly as we’d like after the pandemic, which is why I and others have been calling on Government to extend its Bus Recovery Grant beyond October.
“Smaller operators need that support to help them through this difficult time, they don’t have multi-national parent companies to fall back on.
“We are working with partners and other operators to limit the impact on our communities – especially those that rely on key services – and have put measures in place to maintain the AccessBus services that CT Plus ran on our behalf.
“We’re now working to find replacement operators for the remaining services but it is inevitable that some passengers will be inconvenienced while this happens.”
Meanwhile Ms Brabin has joined with other Northern mayors – Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard; Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram and Mayor of the North of Tyne Jamie Driscoll – in lobbying the Government not to end the Bus Recovery Grant in October.
Ms Brabin says she has been told by bus operators that if they lose the funding 26 services in West Yorkshire will be withdrawn. As many as 100 services could be affected in some way too.
“These cuts will decimate our bus network, risk leaving people isolated and potentially unable to get to work or college,” she said.
“At a time when people face an extraordinary cost of living crisis, the reduction and withdrawal of bus services will seriously impact our communities, raising household bills with extra travel costs such as taxis.
“That’s why, as Northern Mayors, we’re standing together to demand Government extend this support to prevent another severe blow to local economies at a time of national crisis.”
The Mayor’s Big Bus Chat, which gives the public a chance to air their views on bus services in West Yorkshire, comes to Huddersfield Bus Station today (Thursday August 18) from 10am to 1pm.