Long-established independent Yeomans Travel gave up most of its Hereford city network in early January. It had taken on the routes when First Midland Red pulled out of the city in September 2015.
In an extensive statement, the company said: “The number of passengers carried has been in slow decline as more people have bought cars and traffic congestion in the city has got steadily worse. The rise of out-of-town shopping and employment centres has also reduced demand for travel into the city centre.”
Since June 2020, it has also faced competition from two routes run by Sargeants of Kington, offering a simpler alternative to Yeomans’ sometimes complex route patterns. As a result, Yeomans had already withdrawn from some parts of the city in September. The January changes leave it running two all day commercial buses in the city with a third off-peak only, plus a further bus on a tendered service, compared to around nine before.
The company said: “We are now carrying only 50% of the numbers of bus passengers that we were carrying in 2019.” It was critical of Herefordshire Council, stating that it had asked if the company could continue running the services until April, but offered no financial assistance to do this.