Dewsbury bus stop change hits town centre shops

Deborah Restall and her son Jack at a bus stop outside their shop, Igloo.
Deborah Restall and her son Jack at a bus stop outside their shop, Igloo.

A decision to divert a main bus route away from Dewsbury Market has caused fury, with one councillor describing the impact on local businesses as “terrible”.

Arriva’s 126/1267 service, which start in Wakefield, no longer stop at Northgate or Longcauseway after the bus company altered the timetable four weeks ago.

They now terminate at Dewsbury Bus Station, and traders who previously relied on the passing trade say they are missing out.

John Appleyard, deputy chairman of Kirklees Public Transport Consultation Committee, said: “The change will put people off shopping in Dewsbury and for those that do it means a seven minute walk all the way from the market to the bus.

“I know that doesn’t sound a lot, but for a pensioner carrying four bags of heavy shopping it certainly is.”

A meeting between councillors, market traders, Metro and Arriva took place at the end of last week, but no agreement was reached.

Metro said they have no power to reverse the decision.

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) said: “There was no thought given to the users of these services and the distance across town people are expected to walk – just for the sake of a few minutes Arriva want to save.

“The impact on local businesses is terrible.

“We are not accepting this and will continue to meet with Arriva to resolve this.”

Deborah Restall, who owns Reids of Dewsbury and Igloo in Northgate, said: “People used to stop off in town, have a coffee and spend some money but since the bus stopped coming down here they don’t.

“The street is just empty.”

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “Due to the high levels of congestion in and out of Dewsbury we have been working very hard to try and improve punctuality for our passengers.

“We have urged Kirklees Council and Metro to look at the introduction and improvement of bus priority measures in the area.

“Although these have proved beneficial, further congestion in other areas is now causing concern.”