Saturday, 30 May 2015 11:45

Rural bus keeps residents moving

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural bus keeps residents moving

A NEW bus service supported by North Yorkshire County Council is helping to fight rural isolation in Wensleydale.

The service is operated with a combination of paid and volunteer drivers by the Hawes-based Little White Bus.

It offers a two-hourly service, Monday to Saturday between Hawes and Leyburn where connections are available to travel on to Bedale, Richmond and Ripon.

The contract for the new service was awarded by the county council to Little White Bus this spring.

In the first ten days since its introduction on 11 May, the service clocked up more than five hundred passenger journeys.

In addition, the independent Bedale Minibus - wholly run by volunteers - is providing trips to Leyburn on a Friday and Bedale on a Tuesday to provide access to town markets from outlying villages.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for integrated passenger transport, said: "This is a great example of how the county council can work with local groups and transport providers to maintain vital public transport links - despite the financial pressure on our budgets, and the lack of provision by commercial operators."

"The tremendous support of volunteers in Wensleydale and in Bedale coupled with financial backing from the Council is a great example of how communities can be stronger when they come together to deliver their own services."

Upper Dales County Councillor John Blackie, the volunteer managing director of Little White Bus, said the arrangement offered residents of Wensleydale a flexible and reliable service, making the best use of stretched resources.

He praised the "tremendous support from our team of dedicated volunteers and the excellent back-up from the County Council's Integrated Passenger Transport Unit, without both of which the service could not operate."

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