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Dales Integrated Transport Alliance reveals bus survey findings
10:00am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in News
Buses to get around the Dales are important to residents and visitors alike, says a new study.
The Dales Integrated Transport Alliance (DITA) carried out a detailed survey between August and September last year to gauge the travel habits of visitors.
It followed an earlier survey into the travel habits of residents and now the findings have been pulled together to help DITA improve access within and to the Dales, Of the bus users who responded to the survey, 37 per cent were Dales residents, 44 per cent were day trippers and 16 per cent were visitors staying overnight.
Around a third said they could have travelled by car.
“Buses make a significant contribution to the local economy,” said DITA chairman Helen Flynn. “More than half of bus users would not visit the Dales without the bus service, and Dales businesses would lose their spending of at least £2.8 million per year if the buses were to cease.
“About one car user in seven said they could use buses for their journey, with a greater choice of tickets available on all buses and trains in the area being the most important suggestion to encourage greater use of public transport.”
The survey was carried out by QA Research of York and supervised by the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company (DBCIC) which organises Sunday and Bank Holiday bus services in the Dales.
Mrs Flynn added: “The visitor survey results show that the bus network plays an important part in Dales life, indeed it is a lifeline for young people who are without independent means of transport and for people who do not own, or have had to give up ownership of a car.
“Our next steps are to find ways of coaxing visitors out of their cars from time to time, either once they have arrived in the Dales or when planning journeys to the Dales.
“This will help keep rural bus and rail networks vibrant and sustainable, and provide people with real transport choice.”
Chris Nash, chairman of the DBCIC, said: “This survey shows that both residents and visitors to the Dales need good bus services seven days per week.
“Without these services, many people would be unable to enjoy the splendour of the Dales and the result would be a substantial loss to local businesses.”