MORE than 30 volunteers have put their names forward to help set up and run the Upper Wharfedale Community Bus.

But elsewhere, other services are facing the axe.

This follows December’s decision by North Yorkshire County Council to cut subsidies to local bus services.

The impact of the cuts was featured on BBC’s Countryfile programme earlier this month.

The community bus service will operate in Upper Wharfedale from April and will run between Buckden and Grassington, connecting with the Pride of the Dales service to and from Skipton.

The volunteers have offered a few hours a week driving or carrying out administrative tasks.

Councillor Chris Clark said: “This is an unbelievable response from a community that understands the significance of a bus service to a community like Upper Wharfedale.”

To run the service, a community interest company – Upper Wharfedale Bus CIC – has been established by villagers from Kettlewell and Buckden, and the county council has agreed to provide a Mercedes 16-seat minibus.

Meanwhile, the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company is urgently seeking additional funding as it faces a £45,000 shortfall for 2016/17 after the Local Sustainable Transport Fund came to an end.

Some DalesBus services are now under threat, including the Saturday X75 between Skipton and Harrogate and Monday to Saturday buses between Ilkley and Grassington via Bolton Abbey.

This is despite new research, conducted by Andrew Turnbull, a geography with transport planning degree student at the University of Leeds, in conjunction with the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, which highlights the importance of bus services to the local economy and residents of the Dales.

It discovered 71 per cent of passengers were local residents and, on average, each passenger spent £17.29 in local shops and businesses, contributing more than £46,000 to the local economy over the course of the year.

Ninety three per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the continuation of bus services was important.

Anyone able to assist with funding is asked to e-mail for more details.

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