Combined Authority funds vital bus services in Wakefield

Communities in Horbury, Ossett, Knottingley and Castleford will have services restored from Monday.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority is stepping in to protect vital bus links to communities who would have lost their services this weekend.

Arriva Yorkshire is making changes to services in the Wakefield and North Kirklees areas from Sunday 27 February, and having heard from our communities how this is going to impact on their lives, the Combined Authority has stepped in to fund vital bus links to two communities most affected by Arriva’s proposals 

Ossett’s direct link to White Rose Centre and Leeds will be maintained by new hourly service 116 operated by Station Coaches. It will run from Horbury and Ossett to Shaw Cross, White Rose and Leeds Bus Station from Monday 28 February, replacing service Arriva service 117. New service 116 will initially run Monday to Friday only, with a Saturday service to be introduced at a later date once sufficient drivers have been recruited.

Passengers in Knottingley would no longer be able to catch a bus direct to nearby Castleford. Ross Travel will now operate service 157, hourly, from Windermere Drive in Knottingley to Castleford Bus Station, again starting on Monday 28 February.

Both services are financially supported by the Combined Authority on a short-term basis to assess if there is passenger demand to support the services on a longer term basis.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“Having heard from our community about how vital these services are, I am pleased I have been able to make the decision to fund these vital services for people in Knottingley and Ossett. Many people in towns and villages across our region rely on buses to reach places where they can work, study, shop or just to visit friends and relatives, and not everyone has access to a private car.

“However, we know this is just a sticking plaster on a much wider problem. Community links like these continue to be at risk unless Government is able to commit to support the services and bus operators as we recover from the pandemic, as I have been calling for.

“This is not the way to build capacity, and I will not oversee managed decline. I want a London style bus service in West Yorkshire that’s clean, green and affordable, and I’ll do everything in my power to make that happen.”

Other services will be changing this weekend. Passengers should check their service before they travel by visiting the Metro website at www.wymetro.com.