CHANGES to bus routes have come under fire from an MP and councillors.

New timetables came into force over the weekend and bus users have criticised the overhaul of services in North Kirklees and Calderdale.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin has called a public meeting with transport bosses and is urging those affected to attend to demonstrate the strength of opposition to some of the changes.

READ MORE: Bus timetable changes in full

And Conservative councillors in part of Calderdale are calling on West Yorkshire Combined Authority to reconsider plans to withdraw or reduce some of its subsidised bus routes serving Brighouse constituents which could leave some of them isolated.

One “lifelong bus supporter” on Twitter said “Batley and other communities are being treated as second class”, adding that Arriva are “not listening”.

Another, in reference to the 229 which will no longer go along Bradford Road, said the changes “ruin our chance of commuting from Batley to Leeds”.

Ms Brabin said: “It’s abundantly clear from the level of correspondence I’ve received that these changes are going to have a significant impact on people’s lives.

“From the woman who may have to give up her job to the 92-year-old who will now be forced to catch a taxi to the doctors, the changes are affecting people across our community.

“I’d urge anyone affected to attend the meeting and make sure your voice is heard – this is your chance to tell those who run the services exactly what it will mean for our community.”

Since the new timetable was announced, Ms Brabin has been inundated with correspondence from unhappy bus users, with one labelling the loss of a particular service, “a travesty for the elderly people who reply on this form of transport”.

Ms Brabin has already met with Arriva to raise residents’ concerns and urged the bus company to reconsider some of the changes.

Councillor Scott Benton, who leads the Conservative Group on Calderdale Council, said while the changes on the whole were fairly minor, five of the 11 which were being changed across the borough affected Brighouse.

In particular he said he was concerned about changes to those serving the village of Clifton on which those without cars rely.

All these are being reduced in scope with one withdrawn completely, he said.

But the authority says this, the part-funded Arriva 225 linking Cleckheaton and Brighouse via Clifton, is being withdrawn because it operated on a limited number of afternoon and early evening journeys and was poorly patronised.

However, Coun Benton said: “I am very concerned about these changes to the buses which serve Clifton.

“Nearly all of the current bus services going through the village will either be reduced or changed, whilst the 225 service will completely stop.

“The lack of existing buses serving the village for elderly people and those without cars, is often raised on the doorstep and councillors have managed to secure extra routes from the bus companies for Clifton in the past.

“These changes, which take effect this week, will significantly reduce services and because the timetable changes have all taken place at once, it is difficult to know what the overall impact will be on those who use the different services.”

He called on the authority to use some of its funding to subsidise the services affected if it became clear the changes were not working.

Coun Benton said he appreciated bus companies could not be be expected to operate at a loss but there was money in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) budget to subsidise services to places such as Clifton to ensure that they are not cut off and people who relied on public transport could get around.

Ms Brabin's public meeting with Arriva and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will be held from 5-6.30pm on Friday, March 8, at Cleckheaton Methodist Church, Mortimer Street, Cleckheaton.