North Yorkshire County Council will step in with its own fleet of vehicles from the beginning of next week to provide a temporary solution to the loss of two commercial bus services due to the closure of bus operator Utopia Coaches Ltd.
From Monday, 11 September, the county council will provide a temporary reduced level of service for the 426 Selby-Cawood-York route and the 492/493 route which serves Sherburn to Knottingley - as it did during the recent closure of Cawood Bridge.
Due to widespread local concern and the large number of enquiries regarding the loss of two commercial services previously operated by the company, the county council has also agreed to investigate a longer term solution to the lack of services on the 42 and the 492/493 routes.
This will involve an assessment of passenger usage, the availability of alternative transport provision and the likely cost of providing an alternative service. As part of this work , the Council will issue tenders in the near future to seek prices on several possible options prior to confirming what action can be taken.
Timetable information for the temporary service is available on the Council’s website: www.northyorks.gov.uk/transportnews
“We are very much aware of local concern about the sudden closure of Utopia Coaches and we are making every effort to provide a solution to the problem,” said County Cllr Andrew Lee, local member for Cawood. “We know how vitally important transport connections are for our residents as they go about their daily lives and our officers have been pulling out all the stops to work with other providers to resolve the issues so people are not left stranded. Because of the level of concern we are putting our own fleet in place to provide temporary services and we are working hard on long term solutions.”
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Passenger Transport, said: “The withdrawal from these services by Utopia was totally unexpected. However, our Passenger Transport Team worked with urgency to secure replacements for our own contracted services in an effort to minimise disruption to passengers and we are now looking hard at what we can do to find providers to step in long-term for these two commercial operations.”