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Free Boxing Day buses to the HRI.

Byline: HENRYK ZIENTEK @HenrykZientek

VITAL free bus services will get people to see their loved ones in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary over Christmas.

Holmfirth man Rodger Batley has been running the Boxing Day bus service from the Holme Valley to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary at Lindley for the past 15 years.

He feared that it would have to be cancelled this year after Kirklees Council said it could no longer fund it.

Now safety equipment company Arabis, based at Bridge Mills, Holmfirth, has agreed to sponsor the service meaning it can go ahead as usual.

Mr Batley, a maintenance engineer at Bridge Mills and a part-time driver with Milnsbridge-based Stotts Coaches, will be at the wheel of a 32-seat mini bus provided by Stotts running from Scholes to the Infirmary via Holmfirth, Brockholes, Honley bridge, Berry Brow, Lockwood, Huddersfield Ring Road, Westgate and Marsh.

The first service will leave Scholes at 9.20am and the last return trip will depart from the hospital at about 5.10pm.

Mr Batley said: "When I started there was no public transport on Boxing Day and it wasn't until about five years later that the bus companies started to run a skeleton service. I can get about 140 passengers during the course of the day and I get regular customers who use the bus every year." He said timetables would be posted at Holmfirth bus station and bus shelters in the coming days and would also be available at Holmfirth tourist information office.

Yorkshire Tiger is offering a free bus service to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary on Christmas day, helping people visit their loved ones in hospital.

Matthew Ashton, managing director at Yorkshire Tiger, said: "The thought of being in hospital on Christmas day without the possibility of getting any visitors is hard to imagine. So when one of our drivers came up with the idea to run this service, it's something we fully supported."

The times are: Outward Journey 10.30am: Golcar Town End 10.45am: Brackenhall Longhill Road 10.47am: Bradley Boulevard 11am: Huddersfield Westgate 11.10am: Huddersfield Infirmary Return journey 1.30pm: Huddersfield Infirmary -1.40pm: Huddersfield Market St 1.52pm: Bradley Boulevard 1.57pm: Brackenhall Longhill Road 2.12pm: Golcar Town End Paid-for bus services will run on Boxing Day.

All MCards, concessionary passes and bus operator season tickets will be valid. Otherwise the bus companies' normal fares will apply. People planning on making a few journeys could benefit from buying a PS5 MCard Day Saver.

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 18, 2017
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