Talks under way to replace vital bus link between Skipton, Settle and Ingleton

One of the last Pennine buses to run in Skipton

One of the last Pennine buses to run in Skipton

First published in News Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author Exclusive by , Senior Reporter

A NEW operator could be about to take over the vital Ingleton to Skipton route previously operated by defunct Pennine buses.

Since May 16, the previously hourly service, stopping at Settle, Long Preston and Gargrave, has been operated on a reduced scale by North Yorkshire County Council with just a 16-seater minibus.

In just under two weeks, it is feared that people are at risk of losing their jobs because of not being able to get to work on time, older people, not able to access the reduced service, are becoming worryingly isolated, and charity shops are suffering because volunteers can't reach them.

But advanced talks were under way this week for Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire - which already runs the Sunday and bank holidays DalesBus service - to take on the service.

If everything goes to plan, the family-run business will run a two hourly service including early morning and evening services for people needing to get to work, for an initial three-month trial period.

Matthew Sutton, manager of Kirkby Lonsdale coaches, confirmed talks were ongoing with the council and he hoped for a successful outcome.

"We would love the work and want to help the people out in North Yorkshire, but it has to be sustainable, I am not prepared to ruin the business," he said.

The company has put together a business plan and a predicted timetable operating Monday to Saturday.

The service would run from Kirkby Lonsdale via Ingleton and Settle to Skipton using two 33 seater buses, with the possibility of a 42-seater low floor, fully accessible bus being introduced in mid-July. Passengers would be able to buy tickets for the whole journey, but there would be a change of service number at Settle to meet legal requirements.

Colin Speakman, a vice president of The Dales Society and a member of Friends of DalesBuses, said it was vital that the Ingleton to Skipton service - estimated to cost around £35,000 per year - was restored as soon as possible.

"Every day that this continues, people are at risk of losing their jobs because they can't get to work, it is affecting the lives and well being of the whole community," he said.

Mr Speakman suggested that it could mean the council minibuses being used to take on the Skipton town centre to Greatwood estate service.

County councillor Robert Heseltine, chairman of a council review group for public transport, said it was exactly the kind of innovation the group wanted to see.

"This is exactly what we are looking for and hope we can put some public money into it," he said.

Support has also been given by Skipton MP Julian Smith in a letter to North Yorkshire.

"County run replacement services are clearly better than nothing, but I am very concerned that unless a fuller timetable is revived and a further effort made to bring in a commercial operator, then lives will be disrupted even further and the long term viability of these routes will be so reduced, as people make alternative arrangements, that potential operators will not see sufficient business to make it worthwhile them bidding for these routes," he said.

And he urged the council to carefully consider proposals put forward by Kirkby Lonsdale coaches.

"I would like to discuss with the council why proposals like these cannot be taken up and, if there are financial gaps, how these gaps may be bridged and how I can help."

A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council confirmed it was in talks with the coach company.

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:25pm Thu 29 May 14

Mart56 says...

It seems to me the problem was caused by the previous operator losing money due to the County Council reducing their payment for passengers travelling with a free pass. If we are to have a decent service there are 4 alternatives:
1. NYCC prioritises public transport and finds a way to cut costs elsewhere
2. Central Government provides more money - just as they would for London
3. Free pass holders contribute towards the fare
4. NYCC increases the council tax.

Bearing in mind next years election I think our MP should be doing everything he can to make alternative 2 happen.
It seems to me the problem was caused by the previous operator losing money due to the County Council reducing their payment for passengers travelling with a free pass. If we are to have a decent service there are 4 alternatives: 1. NYCC prioritises public transport and finds a way to cut costs elsewhere 2. Central Government provides more money - just as they would for London 3. Free pass holders contribute towards the fare 4. NYCC increases the council tax. Bearing in mind next years election I think our MP should be doing everything he can to make alternative 2 happen. Mart56
  • Score: 0

6:52pm Thu 29 May 14

calmac says...

Unfortunately it already is at the stage where it isn't financially viable that's one of the reasons Pennine aren't here now and why no one else is doing it.
Councils all around the country are expected to make cuts now and over years to come but why aren't they cutting back on free travel in order to provide a sustainable bus service for everybody. There are a lot of people who don't use or have use of a bus in this county but depend on other services some that have already been cut or even scrapped all together so why should they suffer and miss out so others get free travel we all pay our taxes we should all benefit as equally as possible as a community. Another question ? I enjoy using the bus often as I have today and now and again I enjoy a ride on the train I haven't heard anyone petition for more trains between Skipton and Settle and I ask myself why ? is it because it's not FREE ?
Unfortunately it already is at the stage where it isn't financially viable that's one of the reasons Pennine aren't here now and why no one else is doing it. Councils all around the country are expected to make cuts now and over years to come but why aren't they cutting back on free travel in order to provide a sustainable bus service for everybody. There are a lot of people who don't use or have use of a bus in this county but depend on other services some that have already been cut or even scrapped all together so why should they suffer and miss out so others get free travel we all pay our taxes we should all benefit as equally as possible as a community. Another question ? I enjoy using the bus often as I have today and now and again I enjoy a ride on the train I haven't heard anyone petition for more trains between Skipton and Settle and I ask myself why ? is it because it's not FREE ? calmac
  • Score: -2

7:14pm Thu 29 May 14

calmac says...

Sorry I forgot to wish Kirkby Lonsdale the best of luck with a possible new service it would be great to have a company who already provides a service around the Settle area to provide a service for other local communities. I would like ask them and would love them to consider running a Saturday service.
Sorry I forgot to wish Kirkby Lonsdale the best of luck with a possible new service it would be great to have a company who already provides a service around the Settle area to provide a service for other local communities. I would like ask them and would love them to consider running a Saturday service. calmac
  • Score: 6

9:19pm Thu 29 May 14

stranger in the night says...

Can I just point out that the papers never get things right as nycc are not running a 16 seater but 2 16 seaters so there is 32 seats available on the settle route I also wish Kirkby Lonsdale coaches good luck but you have to think about the drivers from pennine who lost there jobs will they loose there jobs again after only been with nycc 2 weeks and I know one of the drivers has a boy with cancer as he not got enough to worry about without all this and people moan about not enough buses be thankful of what you got people
Can I just point out that the papers never get things right as nycc are not running a 16 seater but 2 16 seaters so there is 32 seats available on the settle route I also wish Kirkby Lonsdale coaches good luck but you have to think about the drivers from pennine who lost there jobs will they loose there jobs again after only been with nycc 2 weeks and I know one of the drivers has a boy with cancer as he not got enough to worry about without all this and people moan about not enough buses be thankful of what you got people stranger in the night
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Sat 31 May 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some.
Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them.
NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some. Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 2

9:33pm Sat 31 May 14

Mart56 says...

The free bus pass for pensioners was brought in by the labour government, despite not having the money to pay for it. I think the legislation says that free travel must be available on scheduled services so a change in the law would be required to enable pensioners to be charged. The coalition government, rather than risk losing pensioners votes by permitting charges simply reduced payments to local government.
The free bus pass for pensioners was brought in by the labour government, despite not having the money to pay for it. I think the legislation says that free travel must be available on scheduled services so a change in the law would be required to enable pensioners to be charged. The coalition government, rather than risk losing pensioners votes by permitting charges simply reduced payments to local government. Mart56
  • Score: 0

10:56pm Sat 31 May 14

stranger in the night says...

I think nycc are doing there best with what they have. You have to remember that it is not a bus company its a community transport provider and also why is there so much moaning as I recall harrogate and craven have kept conservative seats ummm let me think oh yes thats the ones that said lets cut funding for public transport so hey lets vote for them again and see if they can do more damage to it
I think nycc are doing there best with what they have. You have to remember that it is not a bus company its a community transport provider and also why is there so much moaning as I recall harrogate and craven have kept conservative seats ummm let me think oh yes thats the ones that said lets cut funding for public transport so hey lets vote for them again and see if they can do more damage to it stranger in the night
  • Score: -4

10:55am Sun 1 Jun 14

wales34part says...

Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some.
Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them.
Sorry I have to disagree regarding the cost of train fares. A return train fare from Gargrave to Skipton is £2.90. A return bus fare on the previous Pennine service is £6.00.
This scandalously high bus fare pricing is probably one of the reasons the buses are running with pass holders in the main. Perhaps If the fares were brought into line with other bus/rail services run in built up areas more it would attract more full fare paying passengers. I have checked a similar service running from Leeming to Northallerton and the fare is almost half the current Gargrave/Skipton service for a journey that's actually longer!! Surely this is just simple business economics??
[quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some. Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them.[/p][/quote]Sorry I have to disagree regarding the cost of train fares. A return train fare from Gargrave to Skipton is £2.90. A return bus fare on the previous Pennine service is £6.00. This scandalously high bus fare pricing is probably one of the reasons the buses are running with pass holders in the main. Perhaps If the fares were brought into line with other bus/rail services run in built up areas more it would attract more full fare paying passengers. I have checked a similar service running from Leeming to Northallerton and the fare is almost half the current Gargrave/Skipton service for a journey that's actually longer!! Surely this is just simple business economics?? wales34part
  • Score: 6

11:11am Sun 1 Jun 14

Mart56 says...

wales34part wrote:
Skipton Ratepayer wrote:
NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some.
Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them.
Sorry I have to disagree regarding the cost of train fares. A return train fare from Gargrave to Skipton is £2.90. A return bus fare on the previous Pennine service is £6.00.
This scandalously high bus fare pricing is probably one of the reasons the buses are running with pass holders in the main. Perhaps If the fares were brought into line with other bus/rail services run in built up areas more it would attract more full fare paying passengers. I have checked a similar service running from Leeming to Northallerton and the fare is almost half the current Gargrave/Skipton service for a journey that's actually longer!! Surely this is just simple business economics??
My brother in law had mentioned that Pennines fares were high but I never realised they were that high. I regularly use train services to travel to and from work, the bus has never been an option due to the times and routes I travel. Whilst I moan at the cost of train fares it is far cheaper, and more relaxing than travelling by car. My only complaint about the rail service is that there are no trains from Gargrave early in the morning.
[quote][p][bold]wales34part[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Skipton Ratepayer[/bold] wrote: NYCC has no interest in public transport, and even less interest in our area, so they won't do anything to help. Before the Harrogate bus service was ripped away, many people suggested that pass-holders pay a reduced rate, but we were told (by NYCC) that it wasn't allowed because the passes were for 'free' travel. The park & ride buses in York manage to charge a reduced fare to pass-holders, so why can't ordinary buses? Then we might actually have some. Re the comment about trains, train fares are now so dear that few on a state pension can afford to use them.[/p][/quote]Sorry I have to disagree regarding the cost of train fares. A return train fare from Gargrave to Skipton is £2.90. A return bus fare on the previous Pennine service is £6.00. This scandalously high bus fare pricing is probably one of the reasons the buses are running with pass holders in the main. Perhaps If the fares were brought into line with other bus/rail services run in built up areas more it would attract more full fare paying passengers. I have checked a similar service running from Leeming to Northallerton and the fare is almost half the current Gargrave/Skipton service for a journey that's actually longer!! Surely this is just simple business economics??[/p][/quote]My brother in law had mentioned that Pennines fares were high but I never realised they were that high. I regularly use train services to travel to and from work, the bus has never been an option due to the times and routes I travel. Whilst I moan at the cost of train fares it is far cheaper, and more relaxing than travelling by car. My only complaint about the rail service is that there are no trains from Gargrave early in the morning. Mart56
  • Score: 1

3:14pm Sun 1 Jun 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

Sorry, I had no idea about the Gargrave fares. The only train I ever get is to Leeds and that costs about £10 from Skipton. I don't go often enough to get a rail card.
Sorry, I had no idea about the Gargrave fares. The only train I ever get is to Leeds and that costs about £10 from Skipton. I don't go often enough to get a rail card. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 1

3:40pm Sun 1 Jun 14

ExBusUser says...

stranger in the night says be thankful of what you got people

At 9.30 or 11.30 on a weekday the good people of Settle can set out on a return journey to Skipton by minibus. At 10.45 or 12.45 they must make their way back again.
Thanks be to NYCC.

The good people of Gargarve pay £5 for a 5 mile journey in the minibus to Skipton. The good people of Horton in Ribblesdale pay £1.45 for an 8 mile journey in an identical minibus to Settle.
Thanks be to NYCC.

The good people of Horton in Ribblesdale, Austwick, Tosside, Buckden etc. etc. can go shopping by bus on a Saturday. The good people of Long Preston and Hellifield cannot go shopping by bus on a Saturday.
Thanks be to NYCC.

Not everyone in North Yorkshire is treated fairly.
Thanks be to NYCC.
stranger in the night says be thankful of what you got people At 9.30 or 11.30 on a weekday the good people of Settle can set out on a return journey to Skipton by minibus. At 10.45 or 12.45 they must make their way back again. Thanks be to NYCC. The good people of Gargarve pay £5 for a 5 mile journey in the minibus to Skipton. The good people of Horton in Ribblesdale pay £1.45 for an 8 mile journey in an identical minibus to Settle. Thanks be to NYCC. The good people of Horton in Ribblesdale, Austwick, Tosside, Buckden etc. etc. can go shopping by bus on a Saturday. The good people of Long Preston and Hellifield cannot go shopping by bus on a Saturday. Thanks be to NYCC. Not everyone in North Yorkshire is treated fairly. Thanks be to NYCC. ExBusUser
  • Score: 3

10:18pm Sun 1 Jun 14

stranger in the night says...

Can't blame nycc for the prices as they got them off pennine as I worked for pennine. and like I said people vote for conservatives so get used to it also like I said nycc is not a bus company so for them to get bigger buses and more journey's the have to apply for the relevant operators licence so yeah be thankful of what you have got in the short time nycc had to get this together after no other bus company's came forward
Can't blame nycc for the prices as they got them off pennine as I worked for pennine. and like I said people vote for conservatives so get used to it also like I said nycc is not a bus company so for them to get bigger buses and more journey's the have to apply for the relevant operators licence so yeah be thankful of what you have got in the short time nycc had to get this together after no other bus company's came forward stranger in the night
  • Score: -3

1:16am Mon 2 Jun 14

ExBusUser says...

Those who relied on early morning and late afternoon buses to travel to and from work and have now lost their jobs, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful.

Those volunteers who relied on the buses to be able to carry out charitable activities and can no longer get home at the end of the day, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful.

Those who are now unable to visit friends and relatives in Airedale Hospital, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful.

And we should all be thankful that NYCC has CHOSEN to retain the fares charged by Pennine instead of bringing them in line with fares charged on the minibus service between Tosside and Horton in Ribblesdale, which NYCC has been operating for several months.
Those who relied on early morning and late afternoon buses to travel to and from work and have now lost their jobs, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful. Those volunteers who relied on the buses to be able to carry out charitable activities and can no longer get home at the end of the day, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful. Those who are now unable to visit friends and relatives in Airedale Hospital, must, as stranger in the night says, be thankful. And we should all be thankful that NYCC has CHOSEN to retain the fares charged by Pennine instead of bringing them in line with fares charged on the minibus service between Tosside and Horton in Ribblesdale, which NYCC has been operating for several months. ExBusUser
  • Score: 2

7:45am Mon 2 Jun 14

stranger in the night says...

Ex bus user you would all be moaning if they had not put anything on at all plus as I have since found out they dont have the buses or the staff to run all the journeys and times as we did at pennine
Ex bus user you would all be moaning if they had not put anything on at all plus as I have since found out they dont have the buses or the staff to run all the journeys and times as we did at pennine stranger in the night
  • Score: -3

8:57am Mon 2 Jun 14

Skipton Ratepayer says...

There are 80 buses a day between Harrogate and Knaresborough, 40 a day between Harrogate and Ripon and 20 a day between Harrogate and Wetherby. They are full of non-paying pass-holders, so NYCC must be contributing to keeping them going. It's just our area they won't support.
There are 80 buses a day between Harrogate and Knaresborough, 40 a day between Harrogate and Ripon and 20 a day between Harrogate and Wetherby. They are full of non-paying pass-holders, so NYCC must be contributing to keeping them going. It's just our area they won't support. Skipton Ratepayer
  • Score: 3

12:53pm Mon 2 Jun 14

stranger in the night says...

That maybe true but who runs them big bus company's that can afford to run at a loss not like pennine and I have worked for a big bus company and know they can run at a loss. Also in my findings and ex employment nycc only have a section 22 operators licence which means they can only run 16 seaters for them to run anything more than that requires a full operators liecence which takes about 8 to 10 weeks to apply for. Also when you take over routes you have to apply to the traffic comitioners which takes 56 days but as I am aware nycc put the routes out to tender for the first 6 weeks of there application but no one came forward thus leaving nycc 2 weeks to sort everything out and apply for the routes under emergency liecence
That maybe true but who runs them big bus company's that can afford to run at a loss not like pennine and I have worked for a big bus company and know they can run at a loss. Also in my findings and ex employment nycc only have a section 22 operators licence which means they can only run 16 seaters for them to run anything more than that requires a full operators liecence which takes about 8 to 10 weeks to apply for. Also when you take over routes you have to apply to the traffic comitioners which takes 56 days but as I am aware nycc put the routes out to tender for the first 6 weeks of there application but no one came forward thus leaving nycc 2 weeks to sort everything out and apply for the routes under emergency liecence stranger in the night
  • Score: -2

11:49pm Fri 6 Jun 14

calmac says...

Recently I commented about all benefitting equal as a community and I got negative vote I mentioned about campaigning for more trains weren't being campaigned for and asked why because it's not free and I got negative vote so tell me why people are you a community or are you all about yourself because if you really are a community you would be campaigning for more trains or but sorry did you think it was all about me and you with free bus passes well think of the community you selfish people who soon jumped to say I can't afford the train and think about the workers starting now! They don't get free travel to help them in their time of need they don't get paid whether they go out or stay home. Yet I don't see young people in the paper it's all about I need to go to Keighley and Harrogate the services we have now have been put there to help not go on day trips. Thankyou to NYCC I can get a bus to Airedale because they run the service that Little Red Bus ran and as I recall the Keighley bus ran but decided not to O but then they as I found out from Pennine they are owned by the same company that Mainline is who helped us in to this position O and the Harrogate bus yes a big company who don't care about us or the community so yes times are hard but at least it's not up to them otherwise we would I feel all be getting the train. I'm just tired of it all and it's about time we stopped talking categories of people and talked as one Community.
Recently I commented about all benefitting equal as a community and I got negative vote I mentioned about campaigning for more trains weren't being campaigned for and asked why because it's not free and I got negative vote so tell me why people are you a community or are you all about yourself because if you really are a community you would be campaigning for more trains or but sorry did you think it was all about me and you with free bus passes well think of the community you selfish people who soon jumped to say I can't afford the train and think about the workers starting now! They don't get free travel to help them in their time of need they don't get paid whether they go out or stay home. Yet I don't see young people in the paper it's all about I need to go to Keighley and Harrogate the services we have now have been put there to help not go on day trips. Thankyou to NYCC I can get a bus to Airedale because they run the service that Little Red Bus ran and as I recall the Keighley bus ran but decided not to O but then they as I found out from Pennine they are owned by the same company that Mainline is who helped us in to this position O and the Harrogate bus yes a big company who don't care about us or the community so yes times are hard but at least it's not up to them otherwise we would I feel all be getting the train. I'm just tired of it all and it's about time we stopped talking categories of people and talked as one Community. calmac
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree