Rural transport lifeline to expand services despite cuts

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A COMMUNITY interest bus company running through the remote Yorkshire Dales has announced it is extending its services despite cuts in public subsidy.

The DalesBus, operated by the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, is claimed to be the fastest growing rural bus services in the country, with 40,000 trips made last year.

Now additional services have been announced running from York and Harrogate this May, with additional connections made to Pateley Bridge, Upper Nidderdale and Fountains Abbey, as well as Swaledale from York.

Despite funding cuts implemented by North Yorkshire County Council, the DalesBus network has continued to grow, allowing it to attract support from various agencies including Metro and voluntary bodies such as the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line and the Yorkshire Dales Society.

The announcement follows news that the flagship service, the Little White Bus, is being expanded to serve more communities in the remotest parts of the Yorkshire Dales.

The community transport scheme has carried a total of 2,475 passengers between May 16 last year and January 31 on a vast array of journeys ranging from school excursions to taking patients to hospital appointments.

Now plans are now being drawn up to introduce a second bus to extend what is thought to be the first scheme of its kind in the country.