ANGER: ‘Vital’ village bus service set to be axed

Stock image.
Stock image.

Passengers are in uproar after a ‘vital’ village bus service in north east Derbyshire is set to be axed.

The number 72 bus which connects Killamarsh to the popular Crystal Peaks shopping centre will be cut from January 29.

The announcement has left dozens of residents disappointed and angry.

Resident Peter Howarth, 61, of Nethermoor Lane, Killamarsh, said: “This bus is absolutely vital for the community.

“It is absolutely paramount.

“It has been well used - there is no two ways about it.

“It is particularly the elderly that I am worried about. There are a lot of elderly people who rely on this bus to get around.

“It is a lifeline for the community.”

The decision means there will be just one bus an hour connecting Killamarsh to Crystal Peaks and Sheffield.

The announcement comes after a number of other bus services in neighbouring villages have also been axed.

Pensioners use the number 72 on a daily basis to get to Crystal Peaks while youngsters use it to get to Peaks College.

Scores of people reacted to the news on the Killamarsh Voice community Facebook page, calling it a ‘joke’, ‘ridiculous’ and ‘unacceptable’.

Mr Howarth added: “It has generated response after response after response. We are already cut off anyway but this will make it even worse.”

Stagecoach Yorkshire said the decision to cut the service was ‘regrettable’.

John Young, commercial director at Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “After looking carefully at all the options available to us, we can confirm we will be removing the current service 72. This is regrettable and the decision was taken as a last resort.

“Unfortunately the service has not been viable for some considerable time. Last year we revised the service to operate every 20 minutes, using two buses instead of four, but this was insufficient for it to be able to cover its costs of operation.

“However, we wanted to ensure that Killamarsh retained its link to Crystal Peaks so we are introducing a change to our Chesterfield to Sheffield via Killamarsh service 71 to maintain the link on an hourly basis.

“This change will also provide a more attractive, fast link from Killamarsh to Sheffield via Sheffield Parkway, as well as providing new links from the Chesterfield and Staveley areas to Crystal Peaks.”