A LOCAL councillor has called on Stagecoach to ‘end the insanity’ and bring back more bus services to Broadway following a cull which has forced elderly residents to walk in the ‘freezing cold’ to get into the town centre.

Residents in the Kingstone ward have expressed their disappointment at Stagecoach for axing services and reducing frequency rates in October - something which they say has left those in no need with no choice but to use taxis to get into the town centre.

Service 22 was replaced by the new 22a and 22c, but at reduced times and locations, residents say.

Coun Chris Wray, who represents many of the residents in the area, said that more needs to be done.

“The big issue is that from Monday to Saturday there’s one service for Broadway and Woodland Drive,” he said.

“It’s stupid.

“Woodland Drive has a major medical centre and pharmacy.

“Residents there have also been essentially cut off from the town centre and the hospital unless they walk to either end of Broadway.

“Elderly residents can’t always do that.”

Coun Wray has been working with his fellow Lib Dem representative Coun Will Fielding in a bid to re-introduce services back to the area - and said that the ‘insanity needs to end’.

“Will has been in contact with Stagecoach and the reality is something needs to be done,” he said.

“You can’t cut off a big estate like that without their being issues.

“Something needs to be done.

“I’ll keep nagging forever and a day until it’s sorted.”

And with the dark nights and dark mornings, many residents admit they don’t feel safe walking hundreds of metres to the next possible bus stop.

“Fortunately my ward is one of the safest in Barnsley but it’s still not ideal,” he added.

“People don’t want to be walking late at night in the dark or in the freezing cold.

“This insanity needs to be sorted.”

Passengers have called for South Yorkshire’s services to be brought back into public ownership but associated costs would be high, according to Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton.

It is estimated that it would cost at least £23m to replace all the services that bus companies removed in 2023.

A Stagecoach spokesperson said: “On October 29, following discussions with SYMCA, the 22 was replaced by the new 22a and 22c providing new direct links to Barnsley Hospital and providing up to four buses an hour between Barnsley town centre and Gilroyd through the day.

“The 22a and 22c serve areas where there is demand from passengers allowing our buses to serve as many people as possible in the community whilst maintaining a sustainable service.

“Passengers can catch the 22a and 22c from Dodworth Road which is a short walk from St Edward’s Church.

“More information about service changes can be found at stagecoachbus.com.”