Fresh hope for bus service

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Talks are underway to try to secure a better bus service between Skipton and Settle as more than 1,200 people signed a petition about the existing service.

The petition signed by 1,254 people asks North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) to provide a bigger bus for its 58 service which has replaced the 580 Pennine Giggleswick-Settle-Skipton service.

The all day hourly 580 service, which ran during weekdays with a two hourly service at weekends, ceased operating earlier this month and has been replaced by a minibus service run by NYCC. Campaigners want a bigger bus and a late afternoon and Saturday service.

They say the new service starts too late for journeys to work and finishes around lunchtime. Petitioners say people cannot therefore use the service for work, college and visits to Airedale Hospital. Talks are underway with Kirby Lonsdale Coach Hire, which already runs a service from Kirby Lonsdale to Settle, to put on another bus from Settle to Skipton which would cover the 580 with a two-hourly service and larger vehicle running until early evening.

Matthew Sutton, a director of Kirby Lonsdale Coach Hire, said: “We have put a proposal together with the help of Dalesbus and NYCC. We are looking at a three month trial if we can plug a funding deficit. It is not sustainable on its own at the moment.”

A NYCC spokesman said: “At this stage the priority is to ensure some continuity of service and we will closely monitor passenger usage over the next few months,” adding the authority was providing what it can within its resources.