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Swift triumph for student union as First returns No. 56 Bus

Image credit: Flickr
Image credit: First Group
Image credit: First Group

In the space of hours, First has cancelled its plans to oust its No. 56 Bus service after receiving heavy criticism from the university, its student union and bus users.

At 15:07 today, President of the University of York Student Union Ben Leatham announced via social media that the No. 56 Bus had been cancelled without the knowledge and consent of the student union and Graduate Students’ Association.

However, at 18:01, Mr. Leatham stated on Facebook that First has bowed to the pressure of the university, its union and students and will no longer be asking the local council to deregister the No. 56.

Mr. Leatham wrote:

I was just in a meeting with David Duncan, the Registrar and Secretary, when he got a phone call from one of the managers at First. He expressed his shock at the level of backlash regarding the cancellation of the 56 (if they had consulted with us they would have known) and as a result they are withdrawing their submission to the Council to deregister the 56. Absolutely fantastic news! It will continue to run until at the very least the end of the academic year.

First had previously cited the low usage of the No. 56 bus, a service subsidised by the private student accommodation company Student Castle, as the reason for its cancellation. However, the original message of cancellation of the service has been removed from the First website.

The speed at which First retracted its decision has been cited as a demonstration of the power of the student union representing its students. Many students passed on their complaints to the YUSU President, who sent them to First. 

Mr. Leatham will be investigating the length of the No. 56 bus’s contract, but promises that it will not be terminated before the end of the academic year. For further enquiries, please contact b.leatham@yusu.org.