Bus Services after the Spending Review - Transport Committee Contents

Written evidence from V Boulton (BUS 100)

Whilst I live in West Yorkshire, proximity to the county boundary and to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale AONB mean that the majority of leisure trips are to North Yorkshire. There has been much media coverage of North Yorkshire's decision to cease funding evening and Sunday and Bank Holiday tendered services. It has also cut the money it was paying to the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company which has been managing the majority of the Sunday and BH services in the Dales. Potentially this could have been disastrous, and it still could be unless alternative funding can be found within the next few months. Judicious husbanding of reserves plus support from a number of other sources means that the D&B CIC is offering an excellent schedule of services over the summer. I understand that that money will run out at the end of the summer season.

Several NY tendered services have been rescued by D&B CIC. In particular the 66A, which until this weekend has run from Keighley to Grassington, will from 17 April only run as far as Skipton. The important shuttle service between Skipton and Grassington will, from 17 April, come under the DalesBus banner. It is important for people living on the A65 corridor, and to others like myself who have found the flexibility in the timing very useful on a number of occasions. Another service which has featured in my feasibility studies on a number of occasions is the main Wensleydale service (156/157). Whilst Dalesbus already covers part of the route with its summer 800 service, and the 127 Vintage bus service is useful for those able to get to Ripon quite early in the morning, the fact that DalesBus is offering a service from Northallerton to Hawes, again from 17 April, has been greeted enthusiastically by local residents and potential visitors. There are connections with other DalesBus services at Leyburn and at Hawes.

Visiting Nidderdale would be quite difficult without the various services offered by DalesBus.

Another useful service which as far as I know is still a casualty of the cuts is the Dentdale service. This part of the National Park has long been rather difficult to access by public transport from the east side of the Pennines. Occasional extra buses have been chartered by walking groups. The scheduled service on a Saturday (a peak day for visitors) used to consist of two buses, one meeting the first train out from Leeds at ~10.30, and the other getting up to Dent station for the mid-afternoon train. Last year the CIC ran an extra bus to get up to the station for the later train at ~17.30. This enabled walkers and others to get a full day in the area and was popular. The plan was to run a similar service this year. Unfortunately the two earlier services which were tendered by Cumbria Co.Co. were victims of that county's cutbacks and as a consequence the later bus will not run. This was a superb way to get a day in a less busy Dale.

Wading through the long list of NY's cuts I found a reference to the Coastliner service to Whitby. Funding for winter Sunday & BH services is stopped. It is a service I have used on a number of occasions although not recently.

We are all supposed to be cutting our carbon footprints. Left to NY, society would be cut in two on a Sunday - those who have a car and those who do not. In the interests of the health and wellbeing of all potential visitors to the Yorkshire Dales the operation of services (bus and train) on a Sunday should continue to receive support.

April 2011

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Prepared 11 August 2011