A POPULAR Sunday bus service between Skipton and Malham will this year for the first time continue throughout the winter.

Following requests from passengers, the Sunday DalesBus service 864 will continue to provide a service between Skipton, Gargrave and Malham.

The Sunday service normally only operates in the summer, but the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, the volunteer-run organisation which manages the service, is trying out a winter service in response to demand, and to help improve sustainable access to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The bus, operated by the Keighley Bus Company runs every Sunday from Skipton Bus Station at 10.45am, 12.30pm and 3.30pm to Gargrave and Malham. It returns from Malham National Park Car Park at 11.45am 2.50pm and 4.40pm with the last journey continuing from Skipton at 5.20pm to Ilkley and Bradford.

The winter timetable on Saturday bus service 75 operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire also starts this weekend, with buses just running between Skipton and Malham as usual during the winter months.

On Saturdays buses leave Skipton at 9.45am, 1.45pm and 3.45pm returning from opposite Malham Buck Inn at 10.30am, 2.30pm and 4.30pm.

There are also some changes to the Saturday service on route 580 between Skipton and Settle for the winter, with the buses at 11.45am from Skipton to Settle and 12.30pm from Settle to Skipton now running on Saturdays as well as Monday to Friday.

As part of the national initiative to reduce the cost of bus travel the maximum single fare on the services is just £2, with under 19s travelling for £1. Elderly and disabled bus passes are also valid for free travel.

Timetable leaflets are available from Skipton Library, Skipton Railway Station, Skipton Visitor Information Centre, Malham National Park Centre and other local outlets.

Full details of the service are available online at www.dalesbus.org/cravenlink