A BUS SHUTTLE SERVICE connecting the outer areas of Hedon with its town centre is to be the subject of a feasibility study.
The suggestion is to run a bus service which would travel across the town on a Wednesday (Market Day). It would provide an easy way for residents from the outer areas (Leaf Sail, Inmans, Westlands, etc) to get into the town centre. It would help those who find it difficult to walk. And a general aim would be to encourage those who would normally use their car, to use the bus instead.
Hedon Town Council agreed at its meeting on Thursday to explore the idea in more detail.
It’s not a new idea. It was first proposed by Councillor Neil Black in May 2013. His idea of a daily shuttle service, it’s fair to say, was originally greeted with some incredulity. It was considered far too radical and ambitious for a small town council despite similar schemes operating elsewhere in the country. However, Councillor Black persisted eventually convincing the town council to study the idea in more detail. A key argument was car parking. The lack of satisfactory car parking provision in the town had long been identified. The proposed scheme was something that might result in parking spaces being freed up.
Funding the project was obviously a key factor and another was assessing the need for the scheme. Crucially, would residents be prepared to pay for it via an increase in their council tax? And would they actually use it?
A survey was conducted in May/June 2014 with questionnaires delivered to every household (over 6,000 homes) in Hedon. However, of the 250 returned forms, a majority voted against the idea. Councillor Black expressed his disappointment at the time: “On an 8% turnout we’re turning down a good idea – 92% didn’t vote!” Another shortcoming was the failure to identify who might actually use and benefit from the service.
The experience did result in the town council addressing other community transport issues. It set up a working party and even appointed a ‘transport champion’. The council offered advice on the routes through Hedon for what became the Community Bus service CB3 operated by H.A.R.T. (Burton Pidsea – Roos – Hedon – Preston).
The idea of a Hedon Bus is now back on the agenda. The difference is that any proposed service would run only once a week, perhaps over a couple of hours on a Wednesday. It is expected to cost around £3,000 per year to run, according to comments made at the council meeting. Funding would be sought to run the bus service as a pilot scheme over 6 months. Real need would be assessed based on actual usage.
The Hedon Town Council last Thursday agreed to explore the scheme’s feasibility with the relevant officers at East Riding of Yorkshire Council. The possibility of linking in with the H.A.R.T. operated CB3 service (Burton Pidsea to Hedon) would be explored too.