Bus service saved from the axe

Councillors Maureen Cummings and Albert Manifield
Councillors Maureen Cummings and Albert Manifield

A bus service has been saved from the axe after fears two villages would be left cut off.

Arriva announced plans to scrap the 193/194 service, which connects Wakefield, Crofton, Ryhill, Royston and Barnsley last month.

But a new operator - Waterson’s Coaches - has stepped in to run the service, when it is withdrawn by Arriva on October 31.

Crofton, Ryhill and Walton councillor Albert Manifield said: “This is excellent news. It is certainly appreciated that Waterson’s has come forward to take over the service.”

Coun Manifield, and fellow councillors Maureen Cummings and Faith Heptinstall, raised concerns that the cancellation would leave communities isolated.

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

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

Waterson’s Coaches, part of the Barnsley Bus Partnership, agreed to take over the route after hearing feedback from residents and councillors.

It will provide around one bus an hour, during the day, from Monday to Saturday.

Ronald Waterson, proprietor of Waterson’s Coaches, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support Barnsley Bus Partnership by providing a service between Barnsley and Wakefield for local residents.

“We recognise that the link between Barnsley and Wakefield is essential to the local community and we look forward to beginning to operate the service.”

Coun Manifield said the new bus would mean people could continue to get to Barnsley for work and leisure.

He said: “In the South East area, we are close to Royston and Barnsley. Quite a few people from this side go to Barnsley Hospital, to Barnsley College, there’s a lot of workers at industrial estate between here and there and people who work in Barnsley itself.

“As well as people travelling into Wakefield, Castleford and Leeds, people also travel into South Yorkshire for jobs, they go there to go shopping, for a mixture of things.

“So we are really thankful to have Waterson’s a local company come forward to help local people.”

Arriva said the part of the 193 journey between Wakefield and New Crofton would be covered under the 195 service.

But it said the rest of the route, between Ryhill and Barnsley, had low passenger numbers.

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for the company, 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.”

More information on the new 193 will be available at travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges