The community of Nidderdale has rallied and helped secure a new summer bus route, opening up the countryside and offering a boost to businesses.
Following a last minute plea from the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade £6,000 has now been raised in total for the Nidderdale Rambler bus route.
Donations had poured in from across parish councils, businesses and residents but a substantial gap remained to cover as of last Thursday. However a donation from resident Ben Holmes ensured the target was hit.
With deep roots in the Dales, his family living here for almost 100 years and working as farmers, Mr Holmes said that after seeing the appeal in the Nidderdale Herald he wanted to help share it with visitors from across Yorkshire.
He said: “I am from farming stock myself and still live on the family farm.
“I think Nidderdale is the best place to live in the world, I might be a little biased but I just think it’s beautiful. It will be nice for people to be able to visit and get the same enjoyment that I have been so lucky to have.”
He added: “More people coming from West Yorkshire to enjoy the magnificence of Nidderdale will also help boost the local economy by using our shops and services.”
Keith Tordoff, Chairman of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, gave thanks to the community and commended Mr Holmes’s push to open up Nidderdale to more visitors.
He said: “The Nidderdale Herald behind got behind this from the start and helped the campaign to bring people to the table so it could have achieve the target.
“It’s looking really positive and was done in the nick of time, we have received the amount we needed for the service and it will now be in place for May.”
He added: “It shows that as a community we can buck the trend, we have kept a winter service and we have secured a new summer service.
“In the current climate that’s a massive achievement.
“For someone to have also donated that amount of money to share what we have here in Nidderdale by securing the bus I think is really commendable.”
The route to Nidderdale will now be established through the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
It will connect Keighley, Bingley and Shipley to the Washburn valley via Otely, and continue into Pateley Bridge and on to Upper Nidderdale.
This is one of three pursued by The Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company, who aim to bolster existing bus routes. The other routes will see buses carrying visitors between York and Grassington, and from Harrogate to Fountains Abbey. The total cost of these was £14,000, the National Trust putting £6,500 towards this and committing to do so again next year.
Hitting this target for the Nidderdale route was the final piece in the jigsaw says Paul Chattwood of the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company.
He said: “It has been great to see such a number of generous donations this is the final piece of the jigsaw to provide the bus service in Nidderdale in May.”
Among those who donated towards the new route were:
Birstwith Parish Council, Reynard Crag Holiday Park, with help from Coun Edward March, The Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, NYCC locality fund, Coun Stan Lumley, Darley & Menwith, Pateley Bridge and Bewerley councils, the Royal Oak pub, Kendall's Butchers and the Oldest Sweet Shop.