Doncaster taxpayers to foot the bill

Doug Wright, pictured at Cantley Terminus, spoke to Doncaster cabinet about his concerns on the town's deteriorating bus service. Picture: Marie Caley D5498MC
Doug Wright, pictured at Cantley Terminus, spoke to Doncaster cabinet about his concerns on the town's deteriorating bus service. Picture: Marie Caley D5498MC

Schoolchildren have been left stranded after the withdrawal of the only bus service in their village.

And Doncaster ratepayers could now be left to foot the bill for taxis to ferry pupils to neighbouring schools two miles away.

Stagecoach Yorkshire cancelled the 224 service that ran through Sprotbrough and Cadeby in June following a consultation when the operator rules the route had very low useage.

Campaigners opposed to the decision formed Cadeby Bus Action Group.

Spokesman Cynthia Simpson said: “Doncaster Council is now legally obliged to provide taxis to and from the village to Sprotbrough Orchard and Sprotbrough Copley schools.

“This is because all three access roads to Cadeby have no street lights or footpaths and the Department for Education defines such roads as unsafe walking routes.

“The final cost to Doncaster ratepayers will depend on how many parents request the taxi service this year, but it could easily run into several thousands of pounds annually.”

Doncaster Council said it did not expect its obligation to provide transport to pupils would greatly affect taxpayers.

A spokesman said: “Unfortunately the transport executive are not in a position to offer tendered services due to budget constraints.

“Prior to withdrawal the patronage of the service was below eight pupils.”

Rupert Cox, commercial director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said the 224 route had reached an ‘unsustainable position’, adding that a new bus, the 219, would cover most of the areas currently served but Cadeby could not be accommodated due to its low usage.

Meanwhile, Cantley resident Doug Wright, 68, of Chantry Close addressed members of Doncaster Council’s cabinet last week concerned about the number of bus services that are being withdrawn or re-routed across the town.

He said: “It’s a serious problem. The times that buses are not turning up is frequent. People are being late for work and interviews and it’s getting too much. It’s unfair and unreasonable.”

Councillor Bill Mordue said: “They are commercial operators and they can basically do as they please. A voluntary partnership is being formed, and I’m convinced we can make some progress.”