NEW bus timetables have been announced as North Yorkshire County Council aims to “make the best” of its funding – but some users say it is still impossible for them to navigate the Dales.
New timetables for bus services in Wensleydale came into effect on Monday, February 1 after North Yorkshire County Council and bus operators responded to feedback from passengers to make best use of the funding available.
The improvements include a revised service 159 Ripon - Leyburn – Richmond, to provide additional journeys and improved reliability; and a revised service 155 Leyburn – Bedale. This service will be operated by the county council’s fleet, providing a Monday to Friday service.
County councillor John Blackie, member for the Upper Dales and chairman of the Upper Wensleydale Community Partnership, which operates the Little White Bus, said: “Our new timetable has many improvements provided by the LWB as a result of the huge success of our services, operated in the main by our team of 40 volunteer drivers.
“The changes the county council and other bus operators have put in place allow us to offer even better connections with our LWB services at Leyburn, giving residents of Wensleydale an increasingly frequent, flexible and reliable service, making the best use of the more limited resources we all have available.”
But some passengers have said despite the good service of the LWB, other bus services leave them high and dry.
Emma Amsden from Northallerton said as a photographer she often travels to Hawes – but now she struggles to get back on weekday afternoons and Saturdays.
She said: “I’m not happy with the 155 Dales & District bus services between Leyburn and Bedale because of the new timetables.
“There are now no buses in the late afternoons on Monday to Friday and all day Saturday - I can get to Leyburn and onwards to Hawes in the weekday mornings but in the afternoons I’m stuck at Leyburn.
“I often use the 155 bus services for my photography trips, which has never been easy due to previous cutbacks, but now I’m afraid I’m not able to commute at all as I can’t get back to Bedale in the late afternoons.”
One LWB timetable will operate throughout the whole year. New scheduled services will match or exceed the frequency of those operated prior to the LWB service taking over the routes.
West Burton will have five scheduled services in each direction daily, Carperby will have four and Hawes, Bainbridge, Askrigg, Leyburn and Wensley will each have six.
There will be extra early morning and evening LWB express services on school and college days; and a daily return journey from Hawes to Princes Gate shopping centre at Catterick Garrison.