Morley pensioners’ plea for a better bus service

Bruntcliffe Residents are unhappy with the bus service on the A650. (d20121112)

Bruntcliffe Residents are unhappy with the bus service on the A650. (d20121112)

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BRUNTCLIFFE residents are appealing to Metro and to bus companies to not let another winter go by without providing a decent day time service for pensioners and others without their own transport.

Those living along Bruntcliffe Road have had just one bus an hour since 2009 when the 221 was re-routed along Scotchman Lane.

Andrew Paver, 50, who is a part time carer for his elderly mother, said: “I am just trying to give her, and the elderly in our community who really need this, a proper service.

“I just feel it is so unfair that something is not being done and people are having to stop at home because they can’t get out.”

Mr Paver’s fight began in April 2009 with the re-routing of the 221 along Scotchman Lane, meaning it was no longer an option for elderly Bruntcliffe residents who live a 20-minute walk away.

Since then he has written dozens of letters, collected hundreds of signatures from those wanting a better bus service and got local councillors and MP Ed Balls involved.

In September Mr Balls organised a meeting for residents in which he asked Arriva to reconsider the 221 route and called for the government to implement Quality Bus Contracts, which enable passenger transport executive the powers to specify routes, fares and frequencies.

Now Mr Paver is renewing his call for something to be done.

“We are almost isolated with just one service and we feel that Metro, with Arriva, should be able to come up with a solution even in these times of austerity,” he said.

Town councillor Josie Jackson said she was determined to continue trying to find a solution.

She said: “I am going to continue trying to find a solution to this problem through our highways committee and I know we are going to be doing some work with Metro in the new year on Quality Bus Contracts.

“The bus services need to be improved; there are areas in Morley without any bus service and we must try to incorporate these problems in the new contracts but Metro say that until 2013 it is going to be a difficult time, financially.”

A spokesman for Metro said: “Metro has explored options with Arriva to divert services along Bruntcliffe Road but this cannot be accommodated without extra vehicles, the cost of which would not be met by increased passenger numbers.

“As the area already has an hourly link into Morley, and there are regular services to Leeds approximately five to 10 minutes away, Metro would not be able to fund an additional service.”