Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (May 25th 2012) hit out at local bus giant Arriva as they announced yet more cuts to services in East Cleveland that will ‘leave Skinningrove marooned in the evening’.
“We are now seeing the small print of the local Arriva bus service changes in East Cleveland starting in July. One further cut has now come to light. It seems that Arriva will be making a lot of changes to the core 5 and 5a service between Guisborough, Loftus and Easington, and the evening service which presently serves Skinningrove will no longer call at the village. This would mean that on dark nights, villagers would have to walk to and from the main road end, a daunting trek for an elderly person or a mum with a buggy.
“As they operate a virtual monopoly in East Cleveland my constituents will have no alternative unless Arriva have a change of mind.
“I know Arriva, like other bus operators, face cash pressures. But they are a wealthy firm and could easily have underwritten this increase from their coffers, yet it seems profit comes before passengers.
“This also exposes the fact that the Government are happy to let local bus services wither on the vine, and that – despite warnings of bus company monopoly from the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading – they are not going to make any attempt to bring in greater regulation to see that bus services actually serve their customers, rather than the convenience and money making practices of companies like Arriva.
“In this case I will be asking Redcar and Cleveland Council if they can cover Skinningrove with the existing ‘Village Link’ bus they operate. I hope this will happen – but remember Arriva are yet again the real culprits here.”