Further to my earlier post, here is the official EYMS Press Release on the closure of their Driffield depot, including comments regarding punctuality on service 121.
27/02/2014 - Driffield Depot closure
The Hull-based family-owned bus company, EYMS Group, has today announced,
with great regret, plans to close its depot at Driffield to reduce its overhead
costs following significant cuts in the funding the company receives from
central and local governments. All the routes currently operated from the depot
will be reallocated to other EYMS depots with only very minor changes and the
Company hopes that as many as possible of the current staff at Driffield can be
found work elsewhere in the company as overall there will be no reduction in
An additional factor is that through no fault of the staff at Driffield,
timekeeping on the depot's main route, EYMS's major trunk route 121 between Hull
and Scarborough, has suffered badly in recent years from the lowering of many
rural speed limits, increasing numbers of traffic signals, and delays caused by
traffic congestion, slow-moving vehicles and roadworks. Basing the buses and
drivers at the large depots at each end of the route instead of in the middle at
Driffield will give better control by making it much easier to substitute buses
and drivers when a journey runs late.
But the chief reason is financial. Only recently the East Riding of Yorkshire
Council confirmed that it is to cut £240,000 a year from the money it pays to
bus operators in the East Riding to carry passengers who travel free under the
National Concessionary Travel Scheme and, as EYMS provides by far the majority
of bus services in the East Riding, most of this money will be cut from the
payment to EYMS for the 2014/2015 financial year and in the following years,
with more reductions likely to follow.
In North Yorkshire which covers the northern section of route 121 route,
that County Council is also proposing further reductions in the money it pays
operators for the free travel scheme in the county and has already reduced
significantly the money available for the bus routes which it currently supports
EYMS says it is very reluctant to have to plan a depot closure, but by taking
this action it would bring worthwhile overhead cost savings with only a very
minor effect on the bus services themselves.
All the bus services currently operated by Driffield depot could in future be
run from other EYMS depots at Hull, Bridlington Scarborough and Pocklington with
only minor timing changes on some journeys. The only journeys to go would be a
very small number of evening journeys on route 121 as they would be no longer be
needed to get buses back to the Driffield depot from Hull or Bridlington.
Driffield is home to 15 buses and 33 staff, 28 of them drivers, and the
Company says that jobs will be available at other depots for the vast majority
of the staff if suitable travel or relocation arrangements can be made.
Consultations with the Union and staff representatives have started today and
subject to these the depot could close by June.
EYMS Chairman, Peter Shipp, said "Many bus routes in other parts of the
country have seen significant reductions and many have gone altogether over the
last few years, but we have worked hard to maintain our services and have been
prepared to accept very low profits in the face of increasingly difficult
circumstances. So I am desperately sorry that we have finally had to take this
step but it is vital that we do whatever we can to cut our overhead costs, and
the work operated from Driffield depot can be accommodated at our other
"To make anything approaching this level of savings by cutting bus services
would mean a significant loss of journeys and possibly even whole routes. We
would reduce costs but we would also lose passengers and revenue and job losses
would be inevitable. Making savings this way we cut overhead costs but we are
able to maintain virtually all of the journeys currently operated by Driffield
depot, although I cannot rule out the possibility of bus service cuts elsewhere
in future given the scale of the funding issues we are facing."
"However we have given staff an assurance that we are certainly not
considering any other depot closures."
"In 2012 the Government cut the grant which has been paid to bus operators
since the sixties to offset fuel duty. This has reduced EYMS income by £600,000
each year since then and it is just not possible to absorb all these large
funding cuts without taking some fairly serious action."
"A major factor in all this is the National Concessionary Travel Scheme. It
is great scheme for getting people out and about on buses and is very useful for
older and disabled people who would otherwise be unable to get to essential
services, but from the start in 2008 the scheme has been seriously underfunded.
The incredibly complicated reimbursement formula, which we believe is seriously
flawed and is changed each year by the Department for Transport, means that the
payment made to bus operators by the local authorities who administer the scheme
in each area has been reduced almost every year, and coupled with other funding
cuts this is simply not sustainable. I think the scheme should remain free but
it is vital that operators are properly reimbursed".
"The local authorities in our area have been very supportive and I have no
doubt that they would prefer not to make these funding cuts but we all know they
are under pressure and suffering big reductions in their budgets. It is just a
great pity that bus services, which are a lifeline for many, are not given more
priority especially by central government."
East Yorkshire Motor Services has had a presence in Driffield since the
Company was formed in 1926 and the present depot was built in 1958 to replace
the former garage premises.
Peter Shipp added "It will be a very sad day when the depot closes. Over the
years we have shut a few depots inherited from local bus operators EYMS has
bought, when those operations have been absorbed into our existing garages, but
this would be the first original EYMS depot to close. An independent report
into the UK bus industry commissioned in 2012* said that buses have been
more adversely affected by cuts to Government spending than other transport
modes, and that the industry is facing its greatest financial challenge for a
generation. I'm afraid this is just one regrettable result of those
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