In short notice, Stephensons of Easingwold announced it would not be operating its North Yorkshire County Council contracts.
The company operated both school and local bus services under contract to the County Council as well as providing an unsubsidised commercial bus network. The Council’s transport team has been working to arrange alternative services, focusing initially on the 27 school transport contracts that Stephensons provided for 900 secondary and primary pupils entitled to free school transport in the Ryedale, Harrogate and Hambleton districts. The team has successfully put in place arrangements to cover all of these school transport contracts on an emergency basis using other local operators.
Transdev’s Coastliner service has taken over Stephensons’ 29 and 31x services from Easingwold and Helmsley to York, running to the same timetable. A statement on Transdev’s website said: “We’re delighted with the reaction we’ve had to the news that we’ll be stepping in to cover these routes following the closure of Stephensons, so for the first week you’ll be able to catch the 29 and 31/31X between Helmsley, Easingwold and York for free.”
Transdev has also found jobs for a number of “good Stephensons drivers” and existing Stephensons tickets were still valid on the Coastliner service.
Procters Coaches, Abbotts of Leeming, Compass Royston Travel, Winns Bros, Esk Valley Coaches, Reliance Motor Services, Reliance Motor Services, Harrogate Coach Travel, Morse Coaches, York Pullman, Perrys, PNP Coaches and East Yorkshire Motor Services have also taken over some of Stephensons’ school services.
At the time of going to press, the County Council has not yet been able to secure replacement local bus services provided under contract to the council.
All B&CB’s attempts to contact Stephensons of Easingwold were unanswered.