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Reprieve expected for threatened bus routes in Grassington and Skipton
11:00am Tuesday 24th December 2013 in News
Public outrage and councillor pressure have given a glimmer of hope to two bus services which were facing the axe.
The decision to keep them has been supported by North Yorkshire County Council’s scrutiny committee and its recommendations are expected to be ratified by the council’s executive on Monday, January 6.
Both services were under threat as North Yorkshire looks to save £1.1 million in its public transport subsidy but even if they are saved, there will be changes, with a less frequent service.
The news comes following opposition from Craven Area Committee and a protest petition, signed by 574 people.
County Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind) said: “I’m relieved that after personal lobbying and constructive representations by constituents, the services are to be retained though on a reduced frequency.”
The transport scrutiny committee made several recommendations including calling for continued talks with the Government about the pressure on local authorities of concessionary fares.
They want an in-depth review of local bus services in rural and urban areas to establish how they can be put on a more sustainable footing.
Members believe subsidies for town services should be retained where there are no alternative services in the area and want the executive to look at the overall budget to reduce the impact on services which will have the greatest impact on the economy and vulnerable groups.
Skipton MP Julian Smith, who recently met council officers to discuss rural bus services, said: “I share the concerns my constituents have expressed and want to make sure that solutions put forward by users and communities are fully taken into account.”
Mr Smith also presented a petition signed by Upper Wharfedale School pupils opposing the county council’s proposed removal of subsidy for bus services bringing students who do not live within the catchment area of the school.