Three local MPs have joined forces in a bid to save the 253 bus service in light of the “overwhelming strength of feeling” displayed by local residents.

Batley and Spen’s Tracy Brabin, Dewsbury’s Paula Sherriff and Bradford South’s Judith Cummins have written a joint letter to West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), urging them to fund a replacement service for the popular bus.

The 253 Dewsbury to Braford via Cleckheaton service was withdrawn at the end of February after being deemed not “commercially viable” by bus company Arriva under its controversial timetable overhaul.

WYCA have since rejected calls to fund its reinstatement, with the decision rubber-stamped at a Transport Committee meeting in March.

Ms Brabin has also written separately to Arriva asking the bus company what steps are being taken to address people’s concerns around a number of services following the “impassioned feedback” received at a recent public meeting.

Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “It’s clear from the overwhelming strength of feeling regarding the 253 that there is a significant demand for this service.

“I’ve had people tell me they are struggling to get to school, college or to important medical appointments without this service and it’s simply not good enough.

“I understand that WYCA’s central government funding for buses has been cut significantly, reducing its ability to subsidise services – but I’d urge them to do what they can in light of such an outcry.

“And this also extends to Arriva, who are the architects of the new timetable. We’ve now had plenty of time for discussion and consideration – the time has come for action.

“Bus companies have a responsibility to provide a public service and it’s imperative they listen to those who rely on buses in their day-to-day lives.”

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