Fear that villages will be cut off after plan to scrap bus service

Councillors Faith Heptinstall and Albert Manifield with residents.
Councillors Faith Heptinstall and Albert Manifield with residents.
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Councillors fear two villages will be cut off from neighbouring towns after Arriva announced plans to scrap one of its services.

The bus company confirmed the 193/194 route, which runs between Wakefield, Crofton, Ryhill, Royston and Barnsley, would cease from the end of October.

And Crofton, Ryhill and Walton ward councillors have said the decision will leave villagers isolated.

Coun Maureen Cummings said people living in Havercroft and Ryhill would be cut off from South Yorkshire.

She said: “The bus takes people in the morning to employment. During the day it takes people to the swimming baths in Royston.

“It takes people into Barnsley to the hospital, to do their shopping, to the market.

“How are people who don’t have cars or transport going to fullfill these things?”

Arriva said the part of the journey between Wakefield and New Crofton would be covered under the 195 service.

But it said there was low passenger numbers between Ryhill and Barnsley.

Coun Cummings, speaking on behalf of herself, Coun Faith Heptinstall and Coun Albert Manifield, said: “It will just cut the whole of Havercroft and Ryhill off from surrounding areas.

“Stopping the bus will have a huge impact on the people that have to travel to Barnsley for a variety of reasons.”

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva confirmed the 193/194 would cease to operate from Monday, October 31.

He said: “Decisions to reduce services are never taken lightly but due to declining passenger numbers it was no longer cost effective to run services between Ryhill and Barnsley.

“We obviously apologise for any inconvenience this might cause.

“All current stops between Wakefield and New Crofton will be incorporated into the 195 service from this date.”

The villages of Havercroft and Ryhill have faced several changes to bus services in the last year.

As of last October, the 193/194 and 195 services no longer served Cow Lane in Havercroft, and campaigners said that left villagers with no service connecting Havercroft to Barnsley or Hemsworth.

The 196 route was also withdrawn between Hemsworth and Havercroft.

A new off-peak 197 service, funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, was launched from Ryhill Havercroft Green to Hemsworth Bus Station after campaigners launched a petition and voiced their concerns with Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett.