BIG changes are being planned to bus services to give better access to the Yorkshire Dales without using a car.

It follows the Bishop of Ripon’s statement about the importance of public transport access to UK national parks,

DalesBus, the Sunday and Bank Holiday bus services network to and through the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale AONB, is offering major service improvements to enable more visitors without cars to reach the Yorkshire Dales.

The changes will see some services starting at Easter time including the replacement of the “much missed” 74 Saturday Ilkley-Grassington with a direct new 874 starting in Wakefield and Leeds and then linking Ilkley, Bolton Abbey and Grassington.

The improvements will open direct services to Malham from Greengates and Yeadon and from Burnley to upper Wensleydale.

It will also see the launch on Sunday April 1st of DalesBus Sunday services from Bradford and Leeds to Malham and to Upper Wensleydale. The improvements will also see a direct service from Kirklees and Bradford to Malham.

Paul Harrison, Chairman of the 300 strong Friends of DalesBus, a voluntary group that supports the DalesBus network, said: Our services offer important benefits to health and wellbeing by providing an affordable way out of the conurbations of West Yorkshire and Lancashire into the countryside of the Yorkshire Dales.

“Around 25 percent of the population of our town and cities do not have access to their own car and without DalesBus much of the national park would be totally inaccessible to them.”

The Friends also provided a programme of free public guided walks available to DalesBus users on different services, taking place on every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the season.

“Fares are being deliberately kept as low as possible, to ensure they are affordable for people of limited means – to reflect the need to ensure national park truly offer access for all,” he added.

It was all geared to keeping prices as low as possible to encourage people of limited means to get out in the national park for their health and wellbeing.

DalesBus was offering arrange of cheap day tickets purchasable from the bus driver and valid on the whole bus network – from the £12.

The Dales Freedom Rover was valid on all bus services and some connecting First, Transdev and Flying Tiger services.

There were also opportunities to allow two children to travel free with each ticketholder., The £7.50 Privilege Rover was available for anyone with senior, student, two for one or Dales Railcard, or Student ID.

Senior citizens with passes enjoyed free travel on the 874, 875 and 884 but must pay a £4 single fare on the Malham Shuttle 881.

Full details of all DalesBus services and the DalesBus Ramblers walks programme for summer 2018 are now on the Dalesbus web site –