Council chiefs to fill gaps in bus services

County council transport bosses have stepped into the breach to save bus services in Craven.

Plans to offer the routes to other commercial firms floundered when none came forward.

So with only days to go before Pennine buses folded after almost 100 years of running services in Skipton and Craven, North Yorkshire County Council has agreed to take them on itself from Monday, May 19..

But county chiefs have been unable to rescue every service and there will be fewer journeys.

They have arranged to run an essential Monday to Friday service covering four routes: Skipton to Carleton; Skipton to Embsay; the Horse Close Circular in Skipton and the Skipton/Giggleswick/Settle route.

Transport bosses, who assessed the cost of operating a service using their own fleet, concluded it could operate an essential Monday to Friday timetable and recover all operating costs through the fares paid and concessionary fares.

County Coun Chris Metcalfe, executive member for public passenger transport, said: “In the absence of a commercial operator coming forward the county council has made a considerable effort to ensure that local people will be able to access essential services.

“I appreciate that we are offering Monday to Friday service and fewer journeys than the existing service, but we will now seek future opportunities to work with other providers to improve the level of service without council subsidy and we will follow these up once we have established our service.”

Pensioner Margaret Wooler, of Moorview Way, Skipton, said she had feared the impact the loss of services would have on people living in the Horse Close and Greatwood and Shortbank Road areas of Skipton.

Many older people relied on the bus to get into Skipton and back because they were not fit enough to walk and could not afford taxis. Often this is also the only time they can get out and meet other people. It’s not just a bus service but somewhere people can have social contact,” she said.

“People have been talking in the bus queue about the possibility of losing the service and they were very worried.”

Meanwhile, parents are being notified of separate arrangements for all children entitled to free school transport.

Comments (4)

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12:36am Sun 11 May 14

ExBusUser says...

Concerning the demise of our beloved 580 Pennine Giggleswick-Settle-S
kipton bus service, North Yorkshire County Council must be commended on its apparent strategy for local bus services:
1. Slash the subsidies paid to bus companies for concessionary fares to such an extent that bus companies are forced into liquidation.
2. Replace with a drastically reduced service on affected routes, ensuring that the new timetable is of no use for travel to and from work and college. Run no weekend buses so children and families are unable to use the service. By having the last bus of the day leave the local town at 1:30 pm reduce the use villagers can make of their nearest library to one morning per week. (This may have the added bonus of fewer people using the library = reduced opening hours = further council savings)
3. Run mini-buses to halve the capacity. People will soon get the message when full buses run past without stopping that it is not worth the walk to the bus stop. The timetable could be reduced further and eventually disappear as passenger numbers plummet. This has the added advantage of taking away the independence of those elderly who do not drive. They are, after all, a terrible financial burden on the council and should be encouraged to move over the border into Lancashire.
4. Force an increase in the number of car journeys, thus slowing traffic on congested routes and adding to North Yorkshire’s growing collection of potholes.
Concerning the demise of our beloved 580 Pennine Giggleswick-Settle-S kipton bus service, North Yorkshire County Council must be commended on its apparent strategy for local bus services: 1. Slash the subsidies paid to bus companies for concessionary fares to such an extent that bus companies are forced into liquidation. 2. Replace with a drastically reduced service on affected routes, ensuring that the new timetable is of no use for travel to and from work and college. Run no weekend buses so children and families are unable to use the service. By having the last bus of the day leave the local town at 1:30 pm reduce the use villagers can make of their nearest library to one morning per week. (This may have the added bonus of fewer people using the library = reduced opening hours = further council savings) 3. Run mini-buses to halve the capacity. People will soon get the message when full buses run past without stopping that it is not worth the walk to the bus stop. The timetable could be reduced further and eventually disappear as passenger numbers plummet. This has the added advantage of taking away the independence of those elderly who do not drive. They are, after all, a terrible financial burden on the council and should be encouraged to move over the border into Lancashire. 4. Force an increase in the number of car journeys, thus slowing traffic on congested routes and adding to North Yorkshire’s growing collection of potholes. ExBusUser
  • Score: 16

3:35pm Mon 12 May 14

wales34part says...

Whilst the cut back in timetable is very disappointing It is frankly disgraceful to the point that were left feeling in a state of outrage with the planned bus fares.
Following direct contact with NYCC today I'm informed that an Adult return day ticket from Gargrave to Skipton is £9.10 yes £9.10!!!!!.for a 4 mile journey!
For a service run by a local authority to support a rural population this is a total disgrace. So much for a fully integrated transport policy.that does nothing other than to make people choose a car journey over so called public transport.
Surely the simple answer is to force those bus companies who run lucrative urban bus routes to fully subsidise the rural routes and bring a true meaning back to the words "Public Transport"
Whilst the cut back in timetable is very disappointing It is frankly disgraceful to the point that were left feeling in a state of outrage with the planned bus fares. Following direct contact with NYCC today I'm informed that an Adult return day ticket from Gargrave to Skipton is £9.10 yes £9.10!!!!!.for a 4 mile journey! For a service run by a local authority to support a rural population this is a total disgrace. So much for a fully integrated transport policy.that does nothing other than to make people choose a car journey over so called public transport. Surely the simple answer is to force those bus companies who run lucrative urban bus routes to fully subsidise the rural routes and bring a true meaning back to the words "Public Transport" wales34part
  • Score: 14

5:37pm Tue 13 May 14

wales34part says...

Update to my previous post.
Following an exchange of correspondence with NYCC it has been confirmed to me that NYCC have now decided to retain the previous Pennine day return rate of £6.00 for the Gargrave/Skipton/Gar
grave journey. Whilst not confirmed I would assume that other fares will fall in line with Pennines' current.day return rates. 30 day return tickets will no longer be available.
Alas more a victory of common sense than bringing news of an improvement to the service.
Update to my previous post. Following an exchange of correspondence with NYCC it has been confirmed to me that NYCC have now decided to retain the previous Pennine day return rate of £6.00 for the Gargrave/Skipton/Gar grave journey. Whilst not confirmed I would assume that other fares will fall in line with Pennines' current.day return rates. 30 day return tickets will no longer be available. Alas more a victory of common sense than bringing news of an improvement to the service. wales34part
  • Score: 4

10:01am Sat 17 May 14

ExBusUser says...

If someone with a return ticket fails to get one of the 16 seats on the last mini-bus home ……………..

For under a fiver you can do TWO return journeys from Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdal
e, a total distance of 25 miles. This is also a mini-bus service run by NYCC.
If someone with a return ticket fails to get one of the 16 seats on the last mini-bus home …………….. For under a fiver you can do TWO return journeys from Settle to Horton-in-Ribblesdal e, a total distance of 25 miles. This is also a mini-bus service run by NYCC. ExBusUser
  • Score: 1

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