DCSIMG

Leeds minibus service under threat

THREAT TO BUS SERVICE: John Hardcastle, secretary of the Horsforth minibus fund says the service may have to end. PIC: Simon Hulme.

THREAT TO BUS SERVICE: John Hardcastle, secretary of the Horsforth minibus fund says the service may have to end. PIC: Simon Hulme.

  • by Laura Bowyer
 

Pensioners in a Leeds suburb are being warned to use or lose their lifeline bus service because of the escalating cost of diesel.

The Horsforth Mini Bus Fund has picked shoppers up at their homes across the town since the Seventies.

It is now costing more than £100 a week to fill the 16-seat vehicle with fuel and there are fears that services may have to be slashed unless more people use it.

Currently only four seats are filled on a Friday shopping trip to the supermarket - and secretary John Hardcastle stressed that the service would cease to operate unless more people start using it.

He told the YEP: “I can’t believe how much it is costing to run the bus now.

“We’re managing to keep our head above water at the moment but we will have to hold a meeting soon.

“I want to oppose any prices increases but we have got to get bottoms on seats.

“We will have to cut back on the trips at this rate. It is either use it or lose it.”

The Horsforth Mini Bus Fund bought their first vehicle in 1976 following the closure of the Round Table.

The vehicle has transported hundreds of shoppers across the district over the years and currently, a return shopping trip costs around £2.

It was only last year when local councillors handed over a cheque for £12,000 to help fund a brand new vehicle.

Mr Hardcastle said that the service is often the only chance that some residents in Horsforth have to get out of their homes and meet others.

The secretary added: “It will be a great loss for Horsforth if we have to cut the services back.

“It can help prevent a lot of social isolation because it’s a link for many people.

“I dread some days going to a door to pick a resident up and they aren’t there any longer.”

The Horsforth Mini Bus is available to the whole community to use and can be hired by groups and societies for day trips and outings.

For more information on the service, call Mr Hardcastle on 0113 258 7451.

 

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