By Tony Earnshaw LDRS
An annual festive minibus that has helped Huddersfield people visit loved ones has had to be cancelled this year due to the coronavirus.
It will be the first time that the service, which has run from Newsome ward for 28 years, has been stopped.
But organisers within the Green Party say the potential health risks due to the ongoing Covid crisis left them with no option.
For almost three decades the annual New Year’s Day bus has ferried people from Berry Brow to Newsome and into the town centre and then up to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
It has allowed hundreds of people to go shopping, attend sporting events and, crucially, visit family and friends in hospital.
Clr Andrew Cooper, who has organised the minibus along with colleagues from Newsome ward, said it was “a big disappointment” not to be able to continue the tradition this year.
He explained: “Having a crowded minibus full of potentially vulnerable people is just too big a risk and with regret we have decided to cancel the service for 2021.
“It will feel strange not driving the minibus on New Year’s Day. We really hope that following mass vaccinations, in 2021, that we can start the service up again on New Year’s Day in 2022.”
News of the bus cancellation comes on the same day that the government announced that a Covid-19 vaccine has been approved in the UK.