Arriva explains travel centre closure at Wakefield Bus Station amid passenger 'frustration'
Arriva has said it shut the travel centre at Wakefield Bus Station because it "wasn't commercially viable."
Local councillors have criticised the closure, which has forced passengers to go elsewhere if they need to renew passes or access information.
Councillor Olivia Rowley, Labour member for Wakefield East said the decision had resulted in a "huge loss for local residents", at a meeting last week.
Passengers from Wakefield now have to go to travel centres in Pontefract, Castleford or Leeds, if they can't get the service they need online.
In a statement explaining the move, Arriva said: "Ultimately the centre closed due to a reduction of customers using the facility and an increase in customers buying digital tickets.
"The centre wasn’t commercially viable and as a result of the pandemic, we found that many customers had found alternative means of getting information and buying tickets.
"Additionally when the travel centre closed, we installed an information terminal in the station where all timetabled information is available, members of our team in the station would be happy to assist anyone having difficulty in using this equipment."
Wakefield Council has said it is looking into the possibility of accommodating a centre within its city centre Wakefield One building, where passengers would be able to renew passes, to compensate.
Councillor Rowley said: "Any action that encourages people to use public transport and keeps them informed is to be welcomed.
"I hope something can be done as quickly as possible.
"People are very frustrated that they can't get the details they want."
Arriva has also said that printed timetables could soon be reintroduced, amid criticism from passengers who can't access them online.
The operator said physical copies of timetables were stopped during the pandemic due to ever-changing adjustments to services.
The company said that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) "intend to start printing timetables again".
Local Democracy Reporting Service