Decision to axe bus service route is ‘shortsighted’ claims councillor

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Commuters, shoppers and students are being left without transport to South Yorkshire after a bus service was axed, a councillor has said.

The 496 Arriva service had run between Wakefield and Doncaster, but the decision was recently taken to cut the last leg of it its route, meaning it no longer travels to Doncaster.

Coun Martyn Ward.

Coun Martyn Ward.

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A new service has now been launched, the 52, but that runs from South Elmsall to Doncaster just once a day and does not stop at Upton.

The South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), which is behind public transport in the region, says the changes are due to falling passenger numbers, but Upton ward councillor Martyn Ward (pictured) described the move to alter the 496 route as “short sighted”.

He said: “ “It is a terrible decision for us and our residents, and short sighted in my opinion as they are making it almost impossible for our residents and others to travel to Doncaster on public transport to work, shop and feed their economy.

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“It is hardly conducive to Doncaster to isolate them from us. They are running a service from South Elmsall to Doncaster at peak times (number 52) which is okay, but doesn’t assist those from our area that will have to get two buses or a bus and a train to get to Doncaster.

Meanwhile, Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett, said: “People in rural areas like ours rely on public transport to get to work and to see friends and family. It’s a crucial thread that holds our community together, and a small reduction in services can have a dramatic effect.”