Rising costs put end to a Sutton bus service

A bus service from Sutton to Chesterfield to ending due to a fall in passengers and route competition.

TM Travel’s Spira service also served Stanton Hill, Fackley, Tibshelf and Clay Cross.

Sutton bus station.

Sutton bus station.

David Boden, general manager for the travel company which serves North Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, said it was a difficult decision to make.

He said: “Our customers have been very loyal to us; dedicated and frankly a pleasure to transport.

“We end Spira, not because we want to, but because we have no choice given its current financial position and the lack of any offers of external funding.

“Thanking you for your support and loyalty to date.”

He also said Spira used to make sufficient return to cover its costs but passenger decline, competition on the route and fare reimbursement changed that.

He said: “Operating buses in the current economic climate is challenging.

“In times gone by, bus operators and/or local authorities could afford to operate bus services in the hope sufficient customers could be attracted to use them.

“However, in today’s climate, we have to ensure what we operate does attract customers.”

He said efforts were made to save the service, including the introduction of a weekly fare of £13.50 which was publicised through the doors of every home in Tibshelf.

However, he said that did not cover a 10 per cent rise in fuel.

Mr Boden said: “Given the loyalty of our customers and the loyalty of hard work of our regular drivers on the route we persevered.

“However, with no prospect of that changing or sourcing the relatively small amount of funding which we need to make the service sustainable, it is with a heavy heart that we have to withdraw the service.”

He also said that drivers from the service will remain with TM Travel.

The service’s last journey will be on March 2 .