I HAVE just read your article by Karen Darley regarding the cease of operation of this bus service.

I moved to Pickering from Ramsgate in November 2016 and was pleasantly surprised in seeing a bus service running around my estate in Pickering and past my front door and also other neighbouring communities.

While I don’t use the service, as I am still able to drive a car, I know of many elderly and not necessarily so, using this service.

It is mainly used for people to get to the shops, dentist, doctors and library, which they may not be able to get to otherwise.

While the town centre is not that far away, it is for the elderly, who maybe disabled, who don’t drive and would find it difficult to get into town.

Plus, it is also a means for them to get out of their home, even if they don’t go to the shops, dentist, doctors or library, but just to socialise and catch the next bus back.

This is a brilliant service and one I may have to use in the future. By cutting the service will mean the people who use it will probably be a prisoner in their own home.

The service runs every hour and while most passengers using are elderly and would most probably not pay a fare, it might it be worth considering running two services in the morning and two in the afternoon.

People would get used to this and plan their day accordingly. I’m sure something can be worked out

Ann Searle, Pickering

Fulfil your duties

I AM responding to your recent story, entitled “Passengers hit out at bus cuts in Pickering” and particularly to my mind the comments by made by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC).

This is not the first time NYCC has tried to convince the community that they have no responsibility in regards to bus services if they are, or have been, operated commercially.

The county council states that it has no responsibility in respect of services if they are “commercial”.

However, as has been drawn to their attention on several occasions, Section 63(1)(a) of the Transport Act 1985 (in relation to non-metropolitan county councils) provides that: “In each non-metropolitan county of England and Wales it shall be the duty of the county council to secure the provision of such public passenger transport services as the council consider it appropriate to secure to meet any public transport requirements within the county which would not in their view be met apart from any action taken by them for that purpose.”

Whether a service as a whole is deemed commercial is therefore irrelevant in that the county has a duty to identify whether the journeys being provided meet the needs of the community and if necessary to secure any gaps in service (including individual journeys as opposed to the complete service) which cannot be met on commercial basis.

It is therefore quite possible that on a single route there could be a mix of operators - some running “commercial” timings and others running journeys paid for by the county council.

Regrettably, NYCC appear to be more concerned about avoiding having to spend money on public transport than meeting the travel needs of the community by fulfilling their statutory duties.

Barry Connor, Brafferton

Undecided target

KEVIN Hollinrake, you are using the fears of the British people concerning Russia to further your own, and the government’s fracking agenda.

On April 16 you asked the following question in the Commons: “Without the support of the Kremlin, it is unlikely that Assad would have been in a position to carry out this and many other atrocities on his own people,” and “Russia is using its gas supplies to the EU to further its foreign policy ambitions.

“Does the Prime Minister agree that every nation should seek to reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies?”.

This is dog-whistle politics, targeting those undecided about fracking. Those opposed to fracking are permanently at pains to point out that our gas does not come in significant quantities from Russia. On March 18, 2018, the BBC quoted energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie: “Direct Russian gas imports to the UK have accounted for 1.4 per cent of total supply so far.”

An inconvenient truth, Mr Hollinrake. In her reply, the Prime Minister criticises Russia for its “destabilising activities, propaganda, cyber-attacks and the like”. The Prime Minister would do well to examine the activities of her own parliamentary party.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave