Julian backs local bus campaign
January 7, 2013
Last Friday, Julian met with a local resident in Wiggington to discuss with her the effects of the recent changes to York bus services and sign her petition against them.
During his visit, Julian had a long discussion about how the changes had affected the lives and mobility of elderly and disabled people in the area. Wigginton and Haxby residents at large are frustrated with the First Group’s decision to swap the No.12 bus for the No.13 in their area and then reduce the service from half hourly to hourly.
First Group have told Wigginton and Haxby residents that the No.1 service is also available to them if the less frequent No.13 service is no longer suitable for their needs. However a number of elderly and disabled residents have contested whether the No.1 service really is available to them considering the distance they have to walk to catch it. Julian went over the route with local residents to see for himself what First expect of their elderly and disabled customers.
With the weather becoming colder and harsher, elderly residents believe they are bearing the brunt of what they claim are unreasonable changes. However, the younger population have also expressed their frustration with the fact that the changes have made getting into York for work an arduous task. There are also complaints emerging from residents across the York area that the new services are as unreliable as the previous ones, with many being late and others not turning up at all.
After looking over and signing the local petition, Julian said:
“It has been my pleasure to sign this petition in opposition to the First Group’s recent bus changes in Wigginton and Haxby. However, the changes made to the buses in this area are only part of a wider set of frankly inconsiderate changes made to a number of bus services in the York vicinity.”
“I would therefore urge all those living in and around York who are unhappy with the changes to follow this example and take democratic action by initiating or signing petitions and delivering them to the bus companies responsible. Only when the companies who have carried out these tactless changes are made aware of the scale of the dissatisfaction among their customers will they consider putting them under review and possibly repealing them.”
When it was announced that the bus companies in York were planning to make changes to their services, Julian began making written representations to them on behalf of his constituents in opposition to any changes that would worsen the services for customers. Julian has also met with Mr Dave Alexander, First’s Regional Managing Director and Mr Geoff Lomax, Transdev’s Commercial Director in Yorkshire, to urge them to ensure their changes would not lessen or deteriorate the services for local residents. Both Directors argued that punctuality problems stemming from congestion in the centre of York was the main reason why changes had to be made. Nevertheless, Julian is absolutely determined to continue to fight on behalf of concerned constituents to ensure that York Outer benefits from reliable and quality bus services.