Bus firm to look at service between York and Pontefract

tis  Connexions Buses MD Craig Temple with a ADL E350H Hybrid bus.  (140115M1c)
tis Connexions Buses MD Craig Temple with a ADL E350H Hybrid bus. (140115M1c)

A bus firm says it would need to study passenger numbers closely if there is any hope of reintroducing a service running between Pontefract and York.

ConneXions Buses recently took over some of the services formerly run by Utopia Coaches, which went into liquidation last month.

The 492, 493 and 494 services, which runs between Tadcaster and York, used to pick up at Pontefract Bus station, Knottingley’s Hill Top, the Square in Ferrybridge and Grove Crescent in South Milford.

Although ConneXions has taken on the route, it is not currently running south of Sherburn in Elmet due to it crossing the border into West Yorkshire which is not subsidised by the tendering awarded by North Yorkshire County Council.

With a fresh tendering process approaching, no decision will be made by ConneXions until at least next month and only if the Tockwith-based firm lands the contract again.

However, company spokesman Craig Temple said: “If we keep it after that we will look at it, but we’d really need to get a really good understanding of passenger numbers.

“It would be purely commercial because it’s not part of the tendering.

“We would need to see if it was viable, because if it isn’t, it doesn’t keep companies in business or people employed.”

Pontefract councillor, Celia Loughran was disappointed by the current situation.

She said: “There is yet another loss to the bus services which affect Pontefract and specifically those along the route towards York. Generally these services are used by those who have absolutely no alternative.

“A major, joined up, review of bus and train services in the area needs to be undertaken.”