More buses are being laid on to connect Scunthorpe, Doncaster and the Isle of Axholme.
The announcement comes after bus operators and North Lincolnshire Council recently signed up to a bus charter, committing to improving services. It also follows on from the piloting of two new bus routes in North Lincolnshire since spring.
The new Barton to Brigg route has proven successful, but another route, linking the Isle of Axholme villages to Epworth, has not yet had so much demand. A senior councillor has urged people to take up the route.
Additional 399 bus services will now run from Scunthorpe to Doncaster via the Isle of Axholme in the morning and afternoon. A new 499 service has also been introduced. This will run on college days alongside the 399. It will start in Misterton covering the Isle to accommodate students traveling to John Leggott College, North Lindsey College, and the Engineering UTC North Lincolnshire.
Both the 399 and 499 are open to anyone to use. “It is great to support our partners Hornsby Travel in launching an additional service to their 399 Scunthorpe to Doncaster via the Isle of Axholme,” said Cllr Tim Mitchell, cabinet member for connectivity. “This is an important route connecting our rural communities on the Isle to Scunthorpe and further afield into Doncaster – this is so important for keeping people connected to shops, doctors and other vital services.”
Karl Robinson, general manager at Hornsby Travel, said: “As we start our second year in serving the communities in the Isle of Axholme, we are proud to expand the service 399 with an afternoon round trip to Doncaster. This we hope will give better connectivity to our passengers across the Isle to and from Doncaster and Scunthorpe. Working in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council and Cllr Tim Mitchell has given us an understanding for what the Isle of Axholme needs and we hope to continue expanding this service in the future.”
Last month, the council, Hornsby Travel, Stagecoach and East Yorkshire Buses, signed a charter. This commits to provide routes to key communities, to fair and transparent ticketing, and people travelling in comfort and safety on reliable, accessible services.
“This is an ambitious plan which will improve reliability and frequency of buses, along with improved passenger information and simpler ticketing to encourage people back onto buses,” said Cllr Mitchell. It meant that the council would work closely with the bus operators in the area.
“The government discounted fare scheme – with single fares capped at £2 until 31 October and then £2.50 until November next year – along with our new Bus Passenger Charter means there’s never been a better time to Take The Bus,” he added.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) at the renaming of a town square, Cllr Mitchell indicated the Brigg to Barton bus route through the low villages had been successful with passenger numbers. However, the piloted Isle of Axholme service, that ran east to west across the Isle, had not had as many passengers yet.
“We just need to do a bit of tweaking to the route and timetable,” he said. But he urged people to use the route to ensure it continued.
“We have just got to think very carefully how we spend taxpayers’ money on this. But also in recognition that some of these routes have huge social and economic value. We can’t really put a price on tackling social exclusion.”
He added that the charter was the first formal partnership between the council and bus operators and will look to use government funding to improve bus services and infrastructure.
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Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe