Bus services axed as operator falls victim to pandemic and soaring costs

Bus service provider, CT Plus Yorkshire, will cease to trade and is halting all its services following a period of “multiple challenges”.

It is part of social enterprise HCT Group and has run a number of local bus routes in the Wakefield, Pontefract and South Elmsall areas from depots in Leeds and Wakefield on behalf of Metro.

But the operator says it has been suffering “significant difficulties” in its Yorkshire operations for some time.

A spokesman for CT Plus Yorkshire said: “We have faced a period difficult trading prior to the pandemic, the financial impact of the pandemic itself, followed immediately by the current surge in fuel prices and labour cost.

“Everyone has worked tirelessly to put the operations in Yorkshire on a sustainable footing, but there is nothing further to be done and the situation cannot continue.

“This is an immensely sad day for all us across the Group, and we are sorry for the distress that this situation will inevitably cause.”

He added that the operator is looking to preserve as many jobs as possible and is exploring handing over its services to new providers.

The following routes are affected by CT Plus Yorkshire ceasing to trade:

  • 30 Horsforth-Horsforth Vale-Pudsey
  • 61 61A St James’s Hospital-Hunslet-John Charles Stadium
  • 81 81A Leeds City Centre-Old Farnley-Pudsey
  • 341 Huddersfield-Almondbury-Stocksmoor
  • 354 355 Huddersfield-Netherton-South Crosland
  • 374 375 Huddersfield-Dalton
  • 377 378 Huddersfield-Marsh-Mount

Responding to the news that CT Plus Yorkshire will stop all services from 5pm on Friday 5 August, Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I’m disappointed to see CT Plus closing in West Yorkshire, and my first thoughts are with the drivers and other staff who will now be looking for work elsewhere. 

“My fear is that this is only the start. Bus patronage hasn’t risen as quickly as we’d like after the pandemic, which is why I and others have been calling on Government to extend its Bus Recovery Grant beyond October.

“Smaller operators need that support to help them through this difficult time, they don’t have multi-national parent companies to fall back on. 

“We are working with partners and other operators to limit the impact on our communities – especially those that rely on key services – and have put measures in place to maintain the AccessBus services that CT Plus ran on our behalf.

“We’re now working to find replacement operators for the remaining services, but it is inevitable that some passengers will be inconvenienced while this happens.”