Free bus service is set to be cancelled

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A free bus service which helps elderly people do their weekly supermarket shopping is set to be axed.

Supermarket giant Asda has confirmed that it plans to cease running the Monday to Friday buses serving its Killingbeck superstore, off York Road, next month.

The buses currently collect pensioners from parts of east Leeds who would otherwise struggle to get to the supermarket.

Asda said it took the decision to cease the bus service because not enough people had been using it.

Lil Woodhead, of Osmondthorpe, who is among users of the services, said a petition had been launched to try to save it.

She said: “I’m in my 70s and some people who use the bus are in their 80s.

“There’s one man who uses it who can’t carry his shopping and somebody gets off the bus and carries his shopping to his front door.

“Some people who use it live in sheltered housing and they pick up shopping for other residents.

Mrs Woodhead said the bus service also provided a valuable opportunity for people to meet each other as they shop. She said yesterday: “There were 21 of us on the bus this morning.

“We all go and have a coffee together. It’s like a little social club.

“We all help each other or the driver helps people who can’t carry their stuff on.

“On the way back it drops you at the nearest place to your house. It stops between bus stops.”

The Asda Killingbeck Free Bus Service is currently operated by transport firm York Pullman.

The supermarket company said alternative bus services were available.

An Asda spokesman said: “Regular monitoring over the past few months has shown consistent low use of this service, which is why we have made the decision to cancel it with effect from early July.

“Whilst we know this will be disappointing to the small number of users, there are a number of alternative public bus route that stops close to or outside the store.”