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Emotional last journey for Pennine bus from Skipton
8:51am Friday 6th June 2014 in News
BUS driver Stephen Lynn had a tear in his eye and a lump in his throat when he garaged his orange and black liveried bus for the last time in Settle.
The company folded after almost 90 years of running services throughout Craven because the business was no longer financially viable. It was shouldering losses generated through free travel passes and competition on some routes.
North Yorkshire County Council has stepped into the breach with a drastically reduced stop-gap service using 16-seater vehicles.
Stephen, with 25 years behind the wheel, was one of 19 drivers made redundant, but was lucky enough to almost immediately get a job driving coaches for Bibby's of Ingleton.
"That last journey will stay with me a long time. We left Skipton at 9.15pm with lots of people there with cameras wanting to capture the event.
"We had a banner saying it was the last bus and as we left Skipton people came out to toast us as we passed. At Gargrave someone handed me a bottle of whisky.
"When we got to Whitefriars garage in Settle, we had to pose with the bus. When somebody started talking to me I had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat."
Stephen's wife, Erika, said: " It was a very emotional day with lots of tears and hugs by drivers and passengers."
She describes being "overwhelmed" by all the photographers who came out to capture the end of an era.
"On the last route between Skipton and Burnley and Skipton to Settle I made buns and decorated the bus with balloons and bunting.
"I would like to thank everyone that came out with flags to welcome us back into Settle."
And there's a silver lining to Stephen getting his new job. He hopes to occasionally to be the driver taking people to the First Wold War battlefields, likely to increase as the centenary commemorations start in August, this year.
"I've been driving to the battle fields with my son Richard, who's 22, for about ten years. We try to go every year.
"We hope to be going again this year to find the memorial to a distant relative who won the VC," said Stephen.
Bibby's have come to the rescue of school bus services once run by Pennine. They now operate the Malham and Gargrave - Skipton, Settle - Skipton, Skipton - Settle and Skipton - Giggleswick.
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