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Talks held over future of Jurby bus services

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019 6:09am

By Ewan Gawne - Local Democracy Reporter

Talks have been held over the future of bus services in Jurby, between Ayre and Michael MHKs and the Department of Infrastructure.

It comes after Alfred Cannan and Tim Baker organised a public meeting last week (6 August), where residents criticised the decision to replace timetabled services, with ‘dial-a-ride’ minibuses.

Some said the move has left groups like teenagers and the elderly isolated, and highlighted problems with bookings, pick-up points, and reliability.

The two politicians promised to raise these concerns with the department, and it’s understood further meetings are scheduled to take place.

The ‘connectVILLAGES’ scheme began in December last year, initially to connect Andreas, Bride and Maughold with Ramsey, and was extended to Jurby in April.

The department introduced the minibuses to ‘generate efficiencies’ by reducing fleet, fuel and maintenance costs, and to replace traditional transport on rural routes, which run ‘well below capacity’.

In his role as Treasury Minister, Mr Cannan said an ‘integrated road transport strategy’ could save up to £1 million.

More than 6,000 customers have been carried by the ‘demand responsive transport’, which must be booked the day before.

The department says it recognises some have experienced ‘difficulties’ with online bookings, and is ‘continuing efforts to resolve this’.

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