|Bridlington to Scarborough Hospital Bus|
Councillor Nick Harvey
Hertford Ward – Scarborough Borough Council
Tel: (01723) 890453
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Call for Bridlington-Scarborough Hospital Bus service to be re-instated and serve the local communities en route.
Nick Harvey, Green Party Councillor for Hertford Ward has expressed his concerns over the suspension of the inter hospital bus link. Said Nick Harvey ‘Serving as a Councillor for the rural Hertford Ward, I listen to the suggestions and ideas of public transport users. One concern was that the health service bus between the hospitals did not stop en route. The adjoining class 1 bus corridor is the 121 a service that starts from Hull and runs all the way to Scarborough , one of the longest service bus routes in the country. Due to the locations it serves over crowding, especially during good weather is a problem. This compounds the impact on ‘time critical journey’ as delays can be exasperated both through the length of the route, road conditions and passenger volume increasing dwell time at bus stops. Concerns expressed by the local bus operator East Yorkshire Motor Services are that they are suffering a loss of full fare paying passengers and this is affecting revenue and will impact on bus service provision. Especially as Free Bus Pas re-inbursements have been reduced, due to the economic cuts in local government.
The Health Authority already have car parking problems, and a dedicated bus service if marketed effectively could help reduce demand for parking spaces. A regular bus link serving the populations between the hospitals would help reduce pressure on car parking space at Scarborough Hospital . And by a % revenue from car parking being put into a dedicated community service be more acceptable to users of the hospital who choose to park there. As there would be less pressure on spaces at times of peak demand, and the car park user can see that the money being paid is being invested in ways to reduce pressure on car parking and provide a viable public transport alternative.
What I would like to suggest is that the bus between the hospitals is re-instated as a service that links communities as well. The bus should be operated by a local bus company with some financial support to ensure it is viable for the firm to provide the service. It could even operate as a limited stop service to key locations. A dedicated bus operating between the two hospital sites by not serving the town centre stops of Scarborough and Bridlington, would reduce use of the bus for non health service related journeys.
Why a dedicated hospital bus link would work:
(1) The bus service would run to a reliable timetable this then gives a viable option for a change from private car to dedicated bus link for workers at the Hospital.
(2) The NHS has dedicated staff, with hours of work and a dedicated service could be provided at key times to match shift patterns. The service could then be marketed to potential users
(3) Visitors are deterred from using public transport because a change of bus is required, as Eastfield, Cayton, Filey and Hertford Wards have no direct bus to the Hospital. The Hospital will have peak visiting times, which will also put additional pressure on the car park. By providing a dedicated reliable bus this would help to reduce car park pressure at this key time
(4) Affordability and Equality, the Health Service understands the need to preventative treatment and early access to health care. Often the most vulnerable and low waged face a large financial cost accessing hospitals. Bus fares are dear from the Hertford Ward to Scarborough , and two separate tickets need to be booked. This can deter those in most need of health care from accessing Health Services.
(5) A dedicated bus service would be attractive as it would be more reliable than the 121 service. Ensuring that hospital appointments are kept and staff have a very reliable service to get to and from work.
(6) It would be a good partnership, the bus company can operate the service, the NHS Trust gives financial support from car park revenue and markets the service to Hospital staff and visitors as a way of making the restructured health service easier to access as well as reducing car park pressure on hospital sites and adjoining residential areas.
Councillor Harvey has offered his help to promote a community hospital link service. For the last 3 years he has put together a public transport guide for the rural villages and towns which has been delivered door to door in Filey, Hunmanby, Reighton, Speeton, Folkton, Flixton and Muston. This has helped raise awareness and use of public transport. It has also helped to highlight deficiencies in public transport provision. Said Cllr Harvey ‘A recurring concern is lack of a link from this area to the two hospitals, and when the Hospital Trust put on a bus that linked the two hospital sites but did not serve people en route, people were surprised. The Hertford and Filey wards have way above the average number of retired people, with an increasing need for health care, often with health conditions that prevent them from driving or incomes which mean they can not afford to run a car.’