Service 262 Dewsbury – Mirfield – Upper Hopton – Kirkheaton – Huddersfield:
From February 18th the route of this service is being revised. It will now serve Cooper Bridge and Brighouse but no longer operate between Mirfield and Dewsbury. Buses will be timed to meet services 78 and X78 in Brighouse to allow passengers to change between these services to reach Elland and Halifax.
Upon receiving information of proposed changes to the 262 Bus Service on 18th February 2018, the residents of Kirkheaton had a meeting at the Yeaton Cask on 31st January 2018 at 7PM. There were around 24 attendees along with others who sent their apologies.
All those who attended the meeting, along with several other passengers are strongly against these changes and have numerous concerns as detailed below:-
A lot of attendees were disappointed that there will no longer be a direct link between Kirkheaton and Dewsbury. Many residents use this for commuting and domestic journeys. In order to get to Dewsbury, passengers will have to alight at Mirfield and catch an Arriva bus to Dewsbury. It was noted that this will result in passengers having to pay more by having to use several bus companies and the Yorkshire Tiger Weekly ticket will not be accepted on these routes. Furthermore, if the bus does not connect with another service in Mirfield, passengers will encounter additional travel time to reach Dewsbury. It was also noted that Kirklees Council are investing money into Dewsbury Town Centre in order to encourage more people to visit – and the changes to the 262 will make this more difficult to get there.
Another key concern was around traffic congestion and delays. The proposed route of the new service will mean that once it arrives in Mirfield, it will turn left at Newgate, along Huddersfield Road to Cooper Bridge and then continue along the road to the motorway, before dropping down into Brighouse using the main road from the roundabout. It was mentioned by all attendees that they had concerns with this route due to the amount of traffic congestion around Cooper Bridge and the motorway. (Since the meeting, we have received a copy of the timetable which is available to view at www.wymetro.com which states they have allowed between 15 and 23 minutes for the bus to travel from Mirfield to Brighouse Bus Station which is completely unrealistic especially at rush hour when it can take up to 3x this amount of time to perform this journey in a car) This has caused concern with residents from Kirkheaton, as they believe this bus will be consistently unreliable and therefore will effectively take them down to only 1 reliable 262 service per hour. Some residents of Upper Hopton have also expressed extreme concerns as they will only have this bus to rely on.
Other factors noted throughout the meeting were issues around healthcare. Residents are concerned that they no longer have a direct link to Dewsbury and therefore journey times to Dewsbury District Hospital will increase, and that residents of Dewsbury no longer have a direct link to Kirkwood Hospice. There were a number of people who had concerns regarding their employment and have stated they may have to seek alternative employment, if this proposed change goes ahead.
Residents also queried the commercial reliability of this new route and argue that after Mirfield, the bus will be very unlikely to pick anyone up until Brighouse and therefore the added distance doesn’t seem to make commercial sense. They also feel very strongly as the changes to the 262 are happening as a direct result because Arriva have withdrawn their service 278 which used to serve Brighouse and Mirfield and they feel that the 262 route should not be changed to accommodate this change and thus be negatively affected.
Finally, it was noted that there are other current issues that need dealing with since the route was operated by Tiger Blue. This includes buses not stopping at Kirkheaton Terminus and Town Road before going around Kirkheaton (which should happen and used to happen when operated from Waterloo Depot) and issues with timings.
Currently the 371 has been extended to Kirkheaton Terminus, but residents are extremely unhappy with this service and do not feel it has benefited the village as much as they expected. The issues are listed below:-
The bus does not serve the Kirkheaton Loop or Upper Heaton so is of no use to these residents.
The bus does not observe the stop opposite the current stop outside Kirkheaton Conservative Club on Town Road (despite bus stop markings being present on the highway).
Upon leaving Kirkheaton, the 371 will sit an wait time at Black Horse, Dalton for up to 10 minutes resulting in much lengthier journey times into Huddersfield Town Centre.
The 371 usually has 10/15 minutes layover time at Kirkheaton Terminus meaning that the 262 cannot access the Terminus to pick up / drop off passengers. This also results in some passengers missing the 262. It can also cause a traffic jam if both buses try to enter the terminus resulting in buses blocking the road as the 371 refuses to move to allow the 262 in, for example – if a person with reduced mobility wishes to alight from the 262 at Kirkheaton Terminus.
The 371 clashes with the 262 leaving at :05 past the hour. Often, both buses come down following each other and it can be difficult to indicate to the 262 that passengers wish to board this bus which can result in both buses going past passengers and therefore meaning passengers have to wait another 20 / 30 minutes for a bus.
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