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Metro has described the £192k of
community bus service funding for West Yorkshire announced by
Transport Minister Norman Baker on Wednesday 9 March as an
inadequate plug for the hole left by the Government's cuts the
Rural Bus Grant.
"Although this money will help Metro work with partners to
develop local services such as successful CT1 service launched last
year in Todmorden, it is significantly less than the £400k
West Yorkshire will lose through the reduction of the Rural Bus
Grant," said Metro Chairman Cllr Chris Greaves.
"As part of our work to improve West Yorkshire's bus services
through Quality Contracts or Partnerships, Metro foresees a core,
county-wide network of express, high frequency routes," continued
"We also need to develop more, local community-based services
like the CT1 which will feed into that core network and link with
local rail services
"This net reduction in funding for these types of services,
which improve access to employment, health, education and leisure
activities for people living in rural and remote communities, will
make that task more difficult."
CT1 is a Monday to Friday minibus service operating from
Todmorden Railway Station, collecting residents of rural
communities in Jack Bridge, Blackshawhead and Cross Stone.
Metro worked with local charity Community Transport Calderdale
(CTC) to develop CT1. Services are timed to meet local people's
requirements and provide integrated transport links with existing
bus and rail networks.
Certain sections of route are run on a Hail and Ride basis which
means the bus, which is fully accessible, will stop anywhere
providing it is safe to do so. The service uses voluntary drivers
providing local people with practical work experience and improving
their employment opportunities.