Anger over Metro plans to scrap bus shelter

ANGRY RESIDENTS Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton with local residents Chris Breare, Anne Heeley and Sylvia Downey who are angry about plans to get rid of a bus shelter in Upper Hopton. (d204b317)
ANGRY RESIDENTS Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton with local residents Chris Breare, Anne Heeley and Sylvia Downey who are angry about plans to get rid of a bus shelter in Upper Hopton. (d204b317)
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Angry villagers are challenging transport bosses who are considering taking away their local bus shelter.

Metro, which runs the region’s public transport, has put up posters in a shelter in Hopton Lane, Upper Hopton, stating that it is considering taking it down, and inviting bus-users to comment.

The proposal has angered residents who wait at the shelter for buses into Mirfield town centre and Huddersfield.

Kirklees councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton said: “I know times are tight and people are trying to make cuts but to take away a bus shelter in an exposed rural place with many elderly residents is a disgrace.”

Chris Breare, from Upper Hopton Community Association, said: “I’d like to think the people from Metro were willing to come and stand in the howling gales we get in Upper Hopton. The wind comes east from Russia and it’s freezing.”

Upper Hopton has many older residents who rely on local buses to get to doctor’s appointments and shops, as well as students who take the bus to college in Huddersfield.

The bus stop is near many pensioners’ bungalows and there are fears that without a shelter from the cold weather, taking a trip into town will become an ordeal.

Coun Lees-Hamilton (Con, Hopton) said that Metro were justifying removing the shelter by saying it was not well used.

“I would refute their claim of low usage,” she said.

“Upper Hopton has many elderly residents, most of them do not drive, therefore to access doctors, dentists, shops, they must take the bus.

“The area is open, it’s exposed, it’s cold, it’s windy and it’s wet, and Metro are proposing to take away the only bus shelter. People in both directions will use that shelter.

“I’m going to object strenuously. Upper Hopton Community Association will also be objecting and I am disgusted.”

She added that if the cost of maintaining the shelter was an issue, the community association had offered to help out.

Metro’s plans only affect the shelter in Hopton Lane – buses will still stop there, even if the shelter is removed.

A Metro spokesman said: “Metro is currently consulting with passengers at certain locations in West Yorkshire where our surveys show shelters are installed but under-used.

“Posters have been put up at affected stops, and each shelter is assessed individually.

“Passengers can make their views known by contacting Metro before May 31 at the address on the posters.”