County cuts blamed for Craven bus service closure

First published in News

Pennine Motor Services – which runs a fleet of 14 orange and black buses throughout Craven – will cease operating from May 16.

The company said this week that it was being forced to close because of losses incurred through free travel passes and more competition on some routes.

“It is a very sad day,” said company secretary Maurice Simpson, whose grandfather and two great uncles founded the business in 1925 and whose father, Norman, ran the firm for many decades.

“Unfortunately it is no longer financially viable,” he added.

Mr Simpson blamed the move on North Yorkshire County Council cutting its reimbursement for free travel by a fifth, leaving him with a deficit of £45,000.

“North Yorkshire reimburses 28.4 per cent of free travel whereas Lancashire pays back 56 per cent. That is our problem. There are also too many buses on our main bus route between Skipton and Barnoldswick.

“It is a disaster for our 19 drivers, seven or eight of whom have worked with us for more than 20 years. It has been a very difficult decision for myself and my family.”

And he warned that the closure would result in more people travelling by car which did not help the environment.

County, district and town councillor Robert Heseltine said: “The orange Pennine buses have been an integral part of the social and commercial fabric of Skipton, wider Craven and East Lancashire for generations. Their loss and the loss of local employment is a great sadness.

“The Simpson family have a long tradition of bringing economic benefit to Craven. It was they who, in the early 1900s, laid the setts on Skipton High Street. It was Norman Simpson who built the store at the entrance to Jerry Croft which brought Marks & Spencer to Skipton.

“Hopefully as one door closes another will open for the Simpson family and their employees, but it really is the end of a loved and respected bus transport era.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “Pennine Motor Services operate a number of commercial services in the Skipton area and these carry some pupils who are entitled to free home to school transport. In the event that the company does cease trading the county council will make alternative arrangements to transport these children.

“We will also consider which, if any, of the commercial services we may wish to see continue to be provided and will seek to retain these through short term contracts.”

Pennine operate services from Skipton to Settle, Malham, Embsay, Carleton, Barnoldswick, Earby, Colne, Nelson and Burnley.

Comments (12)

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8:46am Thu 27 Mar 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

NYCC covers a huge area and seems determined to stamp out public transport. Can we be told how much it gets from central government towards public transport? Doesn't it have a statutory duty to combat rural isolation? Don't the people without bus services pay as much in council tax as those who have them?
NYCC covers a huge area and seems determined to stamp out public transport. Can we be told how much it gets from central government towards public transport? Doesn't it have a statutory duty to combat rural isolation? Don't the people without bus services pay as much in council tax as those who have them? Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 31

1:08pm Thu 27 Mar 14

grumpy Ken Hellifield says...

This is a disaster. Public transport services - especially rural buses and trains, have a social duty to keep communities viable. How will people without cars, older people and others who cannot drive be able to travel economically. Publlic transport shouldn't be just about profit - it's about economic viability for the whole community. What about people who depend upon public transport for travel to work etc? What is our MP, Julian Smith doing about this?
This is a disaster. Public transport services - especially rural buses and trains, have a social duty to keep communities viable. How will people without cars, older people and others who cannot drive be able to travel economically. Publlic transport shouldn't be just about profit - it's about economic viability for the whole community. What about people who depend upon public transport for travel to work etc? What is our MP, Julian Smith doing about this? grumpy Ken Hellifield
  • Score: 31

7:07am Sat 29 Mar 14

AndersonSmith says...

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Thanks a lot for this beauty Enjoying article with me. I am appreciating it very much! Looking Forward to Another Great article. Good luck to the Author! All the best. AndersonSmith
  • Score: -15

12:32pm Wed 2 Apr 14

AndersonSmith says...

Next stop: more taxes. Fewer services while paying more is the hallmark of every government everywhere.

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Next stop: more taxes. Fewer services while paying more is the hallmark of every government everywhere. bus ticket from singapore to kl http://bus.sgbooking .com AndersonSmith
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Wed 2 Apr 14

grumpy Ken Hellifield says...

what I couldn't understand recently, whilst my car was in the garage - a single from Hellifield to Settle ( a 13 minute journey) £5; a return fare from Skipton to Preston ( a journey well over an hour) £8!! How does that make sense?
what I couldn't understand recently, whilst my car was in the garage - a single from Hellifield to Settle ( a 13 minute journey) £5; a return fare from Skipton to Preston ( a journey well over an hour) £8!! How does that make sense? grumpy Ken Hellifield
  • Score: 3

4:10pm Mon 7 Apr 14

coates warder says...

now the mainline company from barnoldswick to skipton was the same as the pennine £3.50 one way the mainline have now put up that fare to £5 one way. its disgusting how this leach of a company can just charge what they want.just because pennine are going out of buissness due to the mainline.i bet the local councillors in barnoldswick and skipton do absolutly nothing as per normall
now the mainline company from barnoldswick to skipton was the same as the pennine £3.50 one way the mainline have now put up that fare to £5 one way. its disgusting how this leach of a company can just charge what they want.just because pennine are going out of buissness due to the mainline.i bet the local councillors in barnoldswick and skipton do absolutly nothing as per normall coates warder
  • Score: 4

7:43pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Copperhead says...

Bus operators have to run at a profit.
They are all - with one or two exceptions like Transport for London - private companies and receive no subsidies from taxpayers as was the case when local councils owned and ran the buses.
The blame lies solely and totally with the late and unlamented Margaret Hilda Scumbag Thatcher. Thanks to this now-thankfully deceased gargoyle, we have the worst public transport systems in the EU, whilst living on a small and over-crowded island. Only a politician could arrange such a SNAFU.
It will get worse.
As Britain sinks ever further into third-world status, subsidies for passes will be reduced and eventually abolished.
The rebate on fuel currently enjoyed by bus operators will finish - and I know, having worked as a bus driver since 1974, that some large operators such as Transdev, spend over £5,000,000 per annum at some depots on diesel fuel.
If they lose their rebates, it will wipe out what minimal profits they currently enjoy.
Beeching destroyed the railways 50 yrs ago and Thatcherscum's belated legacy - plus the financial disaster of the past few years - will do the same to bus services.
Better get a car, or at least a scooter, 'cos you're gonna need one soon !
And if you can't afford one, then you'll have to walk - because in Britain, you're on your own.
Bus operators have to run at a profit. They are all - with one or two exceptions like Transport for London - private companies and receive no subsidies from taxpayers as was the case when local councils owned and ran the buses. The blame lies solely and totally with the late and unlamented Margaret Hilda Scumbag Thatcher. Thanks to this now-thankfully deceased gargoyle, we have the worst public transport systems in the EU, whilst living on a small and over-crowded island. Only a politician could arrange such a SNAFU. It will get worse. As Britain sinks ever further into third-world status, subsidies for passes will be reduced and eventually abolished. The rebate on fuel currently enjoyed by bus operators will finish - and I know, having worked as a bus driver since 1974, that some large operators such as Transdev, spend over £5,000,000 per annum at some depots on diesel fuel. If they lose their rebates, it will wipe out what minimal profits they currently enjoy. Beeching destroyed the railways 50 yrs ago and Thatcherscum's belated legacy - plus the financial disaster of the past few years - will do the same to bus services. Better get a car, or at least a scooter, 'cos you're gonna need one soon ! And if you can't afford one, then you'll have to walk - because in Britain, you're on your own. Copperhead
  • Score: 0

10:20pm Mon 14 Apr 14

grumpy Ken Hellifield says...

Yes totally I align myself with the previous comment. deregulation of the buses, destruction of our social welfare system, the attacks on the NHS - Mrs T is to blame. What on earth can we do do remake a fair, tolerant , equal Britain when we have these ghastly Tories destroying our country in such an anti democratic and unpatriotic manner. When was it ever patriotic to drive ordinary citizens into poverty - shame on you Cleggcameron,
Yes totally I align myself with the previous comment. deregulation of the buses, destruction of our social welfare system, the attacks on the NHS - Mrs T is to blame. What on earth can we do do remake a fair, tolerant , equal Britain when we have these ghastly Tories destroying our country in such an anti democratic and unpatriotic manner. When was it ever patriotic to drive ordinary citizens into poverty - shame on you Cleggcameron, grumpy Ken Hellifield
  • Score: -1

6:20pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Mart56 says...

Copperhead and Grumpy Ken - what I find really disgusting is the fact that some people, albeit a small minority, find it acceptable to celebrate the death of a politician just because they disagree with her policies.
Copperhead and Grumpy Ken - what I find really disgusting is the fact that some people, albeit a small minority, find it acceptable to celebrate the death of a politician just because they disagree with her policies. Mart56
  • Score: 0

8:02pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Copperhead says...

Mart56 wrote:
Copperhead and Grumpy Ken - what I find really disgusting is the fact that some people, albeit a small minority, find it acceptable to celebrate the death of a politician just because they disagree with her policies.
Oh well, in that case I'd better stop celebrating the deaths of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. And Pol Pot of course. Not forgetting Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin and I'd best cancel plans to be happy when Robert Mugabe pops his clogs.
Some politicians deserve to have their death's celebrated - whether they murder people, as did the dictators I have mentioned, or whether they murder communities, a fair society , representation for the working class and opportunity as did Thatcherscum.
The midwife who delivered Thatcherscum would have done us all a favour if she had thrown the baby away and kept the afterbirth.
[quote][p][bold]Mart56[/bold] wrote: Copperhead and Grumpy Ken - what I find really disgusting is the fact that some people, albeit a small minority, find it acceptable to celebrate the death of a politician just because they disagree with her policies.[/p][/quote]Oh well, in that case I'd better stop celebrating the deaths of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin. And Pol Pot of course. Not forgetting Mao Tse Tung, Idi Amin and I'd best cancel plans to be happy when Robert Mugabe pops his clogs. Some politicians deserve to have their death's celebrated - whether they murder people, as did the dictators I have mentioned, or whether they murder communities, a fair society , representation for the working class and opportunity as did Thatcherscum. The midwife who delivered Thatcherscum would have done us all a favour if she had thrown the baby away and kept the afterbirth. Copperhead
  • Score: 2

10:09pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Mart56 says...

Unlike the others mentioned by copperhead, Mrs Thatcher was democratically elected - 3 times! There must have been a lot of people who liked what she was doing. The problem with some people is that they cannot accept that a view different to theirs might be correct.
Unlike the others mentioned by copperhead, Mrs Thatcher was democratically elected - 3 times! There must have been a lot of people who liked what she was doing. The problem with some people is that they cannot accept that a view different to theirs might be correct. Mart56
  • Score: -2

1:19pm Thu 17 Apr 14

grumpy Ken Hellifield says...

The issue is the collapse of our bus service. If we value the contribution of young people to our economy, and their right to be able to get decent jobs, then we have to accept that public transport serves a wider purpose than simple economic profitability. How else will young people, amd those on low wages, the minimum wage etc, be able to to earn a living wage if they cannot travel to work, or if their bus fare for an eight hour day is more than one hour of their pay. How do they then buy food and pay rent etc? Surely sense must prevail and NYCC help to support these vital rural public transport services. If not old people will be isolated in their homes, young people will leave to live in cities, the rural villages will die to be replaced by second home owners. I can't believe that anyone wants that - it certainly wouldn't be the hallmark of a decent society - big or otherwise.
The issue is the collapse of our bus service. If we value the contribution of young people to our economy, and their right to be able to get decent jobs, then we have to accept that public transport serves a wider purpose than simple economic profitability. How else will young people, amd those on low wages, the minimum wage etc, be able to to earn a living wage if they cannot travel to work, or if their bus fare for an eight hour day is more than one hour of their pay. How do they then buy food and pay rent etc? Surely sense must prevail and NYCC help to support these vital rural public transport services. If not old people will be isolated in their homes, young people will leave to live in cities, the rural villages will die to be replaced by second home owners. I can't believe that anyone wants that - it certainly wouldn't be the hallmark of a decent society - big or otherwise. grumpy Ken Hellifield
  • Score: 8

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