AFTER years of a satisfactory bus service to Long Lee and Thwaites Brow, from December 8 the K5 service is to be reduced to one an hour.

This decision has many implications.

How many people are likely to be able to get on the bus at peak times, such as when schoolchildren are travelling?

If there are more pushchairs and wheelchairs than the bus can accommodate, are these people expected to wait at the front of the queue for an hour in a cold bus station?

There are also people for whom the Coney Lane bus stop is the most convenient place to board, but they will no longer be guaranteed access.

December is the worst possible time to introduce this reduced service.

At the time of writing I have seen no signs in the bus station intimating this change, so it looks to have been done by stealth.

Indeed, I only heard about it from a chance conversation on the bus, and I then went to the office to have it confirmed.

I urge Keighley Bus Company to urgently reconsider its decision, for the sake of its many passengers.


 * Alan Isherwood – general manager of Transdev Blazefield, of which Keighley Bus Company is a part – responded: “Whilst customer numbers have risen on some local services, we’ve seen a fall in the number of people using Keighley Jets K1 and K5. This is obviously disappointing, given the multi-million pound investments we have made in our network, but we can no longer afford to run the current timetable on these routes.

“Reducing the number of buses we run is always a last resort and – given our investment, long service and commitment to the town – is not something we look to easily. But unfortunately with fewer trips into the town centre being made, we have to take action.

“We are keen to offer the best service we can, and so we are introducing a new hourly daytime timetable on both Keighley Jets K1 and K5. The change has been published widely, including through online timetables one month in advance of the change and more recently posters at Keighley Bus Station.

“There will be no change to evening and Sunday buses, which will run as now. These routes are supported financially by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority which we’ve worked with to ensure Laycock and Thwaites Brow are served by regular buses.”