Victorious residents get their bus

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RESIDENTS campaigning for a bus service in parts of Rastrick and Clifton have won a famous victory.

A new service run by Community Transport Calderdale is set to be launched on August 30 after years of campaigning by various community groups and councillors.

In partnership with Metro and local councillors the new service, which will not compete with any existing transport providers, will link communities with health centres and supermarkets as well as bringing people into Brighouse town centre.

The bus will start at Clifton and go to Brighouse Bus Station, Tesco, Sainsburys, Thornes Park, Crowtrees, Lower Edge and Rosemount Estate.

Paul Jones, chief officer with Community Transport Calderdale, said: “Although the bus will go past some existing routes it will not shadow any route entirely.

“Residents in Thornes Park don’t have a bus going anywhere near their homes and because of the geographical area they can’t physically get on the bus that travels at the bottom because of the steep hills.”

Funding for the service has been provided by the social enterprise investment fund and Calderdale Council.

“We have tried to cover all the areas we can with the funding we have and the time scale,” said Mr Jones. “We were looking at a route to go through Waring Green but First Bus put in an objection because it already has an existing route so we won’t be covering there.”

Councillor Colin Stout (Ind, Brighouse) was absolutely delighted that the service was covering Clifton, an issue he had been tackling for 12-years. “It has been a long time coming and it has had to be done through a voluntary organisation with a grant from Central Government but at the end of the day we have got the service. The private companies didn’t think it was economically viable so we need to make sure people use it because we have it for two years,” he said.

Clifton resident Joan Baldry said they had had such a poor service for some time and it was thanks to Coun Colin Stout that they had got this. “I am very pleased. We are just waiting to see how often it is going to run and what days.”

Councillor Christine Beal (Con, Rastrick) also welcomed news of the service which would be of great benefit to the area after their service was cut three years ago.

“This once again shows what can be done by a determined community working effectively together with the appropriate authorities to secure the services they want and need,” she said. “I’m absolutely thrilled that this excellent new service has finally come about which at least fills some of the gaps in service left by the 2008 service withdrawals.”

Barbara Jackson, spokeswoman for residents at Thornes Park, said it was great news. “We are very grateful to all the work of Coun Christine Beal. It is just a shame three of our elderly residents that fought so hard to get it have died,” she said.

One of the residents was Molly Sugden who died aged 87 four months ago. She felt so strongly about the situation that she wrote to the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

“Molly was very vocal. I think she would have been very pleased,” said Mrs Jackson.