Arriva axes rival ‘bus war’ service

A not-for-profit bus company has accused Arriva of ‘bullying’ them off a route between Dewsbury and Birstall’s junction 27 retail parks.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 15th January 2014, 6:00 am
SGI Buses manager Dale Steel. (D525B316)
SGI Buses manager Dale Steel. (D525B316)

SGI Buses was forced to withdraw its 288 service – the first of its kind – after Arriva Yorkshire introduced an identical service, scheduled to arrive minutes ahead of the SGI service.

But now Arriva has announced the withdrawal of its own 280 service from January 24 due to poor passenger numbers.

SGI Buses manager Dale Steele accused Arriva of starting a ‘bus war’ in April, when the two routes began.

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Mr Steele said: “They wanted to bully us off the route.

“It would have worked if it had just been our buses, and not theirs in front.

“We said all along that they were only putting the service on until we pulled ours off.”

He added that the loss of the Arriva service would mean no buses travelling along Bradford Road between Dewsbury and Birstall, as existing services travelled through Batley Carr and Mount Pleasant.

“It was the only bus that went past the Frontier on Bradford Road,” he said.

SGI Buses ended its service to the retail parks in August.

The Dewsbury firm is hoping to introduce a new service from Dewsbury to Birstall village centre in February and has asked Metro to keep the Bradford Road bus stops in place.

However it will not travel to the retail parks at Junction 27.

“We run six or seven buses now,” Mr Steele added.

“We go from Dewsbury to the White Rose Shopping Centre and to Cleckheaton and Heckmondwike.”

Nigel Featham, regional managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said the 280 service from Dewsbury to junction 27 had been a trial run.

He said: “Unfortunately very few people used the service.

“It is important that our buses are placed where they will be of most benefit to our customers. Following passenger consultation and feedback we have decided that from January 24 buses used on the 280 trial will be used on the popular 202/203 route to enhance service delivery.”