Stevenage bus service cut

Centrebus' 22 service in Stevenage is being axed while Yvonne Young (pictured) has hit out at the op

Centrebus' 22 service in Stevenage is being axed while Yvonne Young (pictured) has hit out at the operator for reducing the 90/91 service - Credit: Archant

A BUS service will stop running at the end of the month due to rising costs.

The 22 service run by Centrebus from Stevenage town centre to Pin Green and St Nicholas will be axed on February 28.

The route is also served by Arriva SB2 and SB3 buses with Centrebus putting forward a proposal to Hertfordshire County Council for an alternative service in the Ripon Road area.

Bus service user Ricardo Nuevosubres alerted the Comet to the cancellation of the service.

He said: “As ever, it will be the pensioners, the mums with buggies and the mobility impaired that will suffer the most in this poorer area of Stevenage, with people drifting back to car use – understandable when the area will have seen a significant reduction in bus operation by the end of the month.”

Dave Shelley, commercial director at Centrebus, said: “We have carried out a review of the service in the light of rising costs within the industry, including the reduced fuel duty rebate received from Government, high fuel costs, rising insurance premiums and increased statutory employment and training costs, and concluded that the service is no longer economic to continue.”

Another Centrebus service which connects Letchworth GC with Ashwell and Royston is also being cut due to a lack of use.

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The 90/91 service will terminate at Ashwell instead of Royston when Landmark Coaches takes over the route at the start of April.

Ashwell resident Yvonne Young said: “I’m horrified there will be no buses to Royston as I go to the town four or five times a week. I pick up my grandsons who live in the town, and also visit or collect my 85-year-old brother to take him shopping. What are we non-drivers to do? The railway station is two miles away from Ashwell, and even if you can get to it there’s the cost of travel.”

A spokesman for Hertfordshire County Council said: “When reviewing and planning changes on council-funded routes, we consider a number of factors, including the number of passengers, travel patterns and the number of other services in the area.

“From April 2, 90/91 services will run between Letchworth Broadway and Ashwell and Morden station only, as in their current form they are not attracting sufficient passengers to provide value for money.”

He added that service 127 provides an alternative link from Ashwell to Royston on Wednesdays with limited journeys on other days being looked into.