A campaign to improve transport services in York has been launched by YUSU’s Wellbeing and Community Officer, Steph Hayle. The campaign is calling for a public inquiry into York’s transport system. Hayle is penning an open letter to the Executive Member for Transport and Planning at the City of York Council, Peter Dew, detailing the many issues surrounding the transport system in York. Hayle has invited students to sign a petition demanding action and it has so far gathered 1 445 signatures (at time of writing).
The speed at which the petition has gathered signatures demonstrates that the issue has resonated with many. Steph Hayle noted how important this issue of transport is for York residents:
“I’ve been working on this project for the last couple of months, having multiple meetings with the council, local forums, and key stakeholders in the city. I officially launched the campaign through my Sabbs in Short, inviting students, staff and residents across York to sign the petition. Within 24 hours over 1 000 people had signed up, which clearly shows how passionate people are about improving transport.”
First Bus have been the only bus operator to and from campus since the end of 2016. As Nouse reported in June, there was backlash after First changed the routes of the 66 and 66A. There were also changes to prices at the beginning of this academic year with a single from campus to the city centre increasing from £1.60 to £2. First also did away with return tickets, which used to cost £2, and instead introduced a day pass which costs £3 and can be used throughout the day.
It isn’t only students who experience issues with transport in York; the issue is much wider than problems with buses on campus. York is an ancient city, and is not designed to cope with the volume of traffic it currently experiences. Therefore, it would be beneficial to the city as well as to the environment for more residents to use public transport. This will not happen if the quality of public transport is seen to fall below standards.
The appeal of the #Bustice campaign is widespread, with residents and students alike being affected by ongoing transport issues in York. The campaign has attracted the support of York Central MP, Rachael Maskell, who called it “a really great initiative.”
Steph Hayle expressed hope that the campaign would unite all citizens of York:
“A city with a large student population, huge amounts of tourism and thriving businesses needs to better support people to get to where they need to be. We didn’t want this to be students against residents as we think everyone in the city deserves better. The campaign has been designed with exactly that in mind.”
The #Bustice petition is available to sign online at bit.ly/BUStice.