A 30 year wait to catch a bus

Sue Smith on Holywell Lane
Sue Smith on Holywell Lane

Campaigners are celebrating a victory for people-power after successfully getting a bus service on stop on their street for the first time in 30 years.

Elderly people living on Holywell Lane, Castleford, were forced to walk long distances to catch a bus to the town centre or to Pontefract.

And many of them were left struggling to carry their shopping bags home after taking a trip to the supermarket.

Sue Smith, 63, started a petition to get a bus to stop on Holywell Lane, which was signed by around 400 people.

She then presented it to Metro who announced the street will be incorporated in one of its services following consultations with passengers and stakeholders.

The 187 service will now run from Airedale to Holywell  Lane, before heading towards the Junction 32 Outlet Shopping Village. It will then stop at Park Road before heading to Pontefract.

The service, which is being run by Arriva Yorkshire, went live on Monday.

Mrs Smith, of Holywell Lane, said: “I am over the moon. One of my neighbours told me that there had not been a bus on our street for 30 years, despite there being several stops on the street.

“It is a main and busy road and it is a big hill for people who get off near Xscape to walk up carrying their bags.

“A lot of elderly people live on the street and they were struggling to carry their shopping home. Something needed to be done.”

Mrs Smith launched her petition in June last year and she started approaching people to support her campaign.

She said: “A lot of people got behind it. I went to one of Metro’s consultations and told them about the petition.

“I told them there should be a bus diverting onto the street and the problems not having one was causing. It is marvellous they have listened to us. It just goes to show that if someone tries hard enough then you can get things done.”

Arriva Yorkshire announced a number of bus services had been improved following consultations.

The company’s regional managing director Nigel Featham said: “Striving to provide a good quality of service is in our DNA and when we receive feedback from passengers we act on it where possible.

“We have invested a lot of time and effort into speaking to customers about their needs, which has resulted in a number of network changes.”