ORGANISERS of pioneering rural transport YorBus, which is trialling one of the country's first on demand services, say there are now more than 450 active users.

The service runs between Bedale, Masham and Ripon. Launched in July by North Yorkshire County Council, 4,500 journeys have been completed, an average of about 24 journeys a day.

The service will operate up to Christmas although not from December 25 to Tuesday, December 28 and not between Saturday, January 1 and Monday, January 3.

YorBus say they have an average ride rating of 4.8 starts out of five, and there are 450 active users with even a few who have been on the bus more than 100 times.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: "YorBus is a pioneering initiative which in the space of a few months has built up a large number of repeat customers and the word is spreading fast. The user ratings alone demonstrate just how popular it is in our most rural communities.

"Over the pilot period we listened to user feedback and introduced virtual stops at numerous locations ranging from tourist attractions to hard-to-reach villages as it became clear users would benefit from closer pick-up or drop-off stops not on other bus routes.

"It has been vital in helping people commute to work and make essential journeys including to and from hospital appointments. We are continuing to review the demand-responsive service to help us decide whether it should be introduced elsewhere in the county."

The service allows passengers to book a ride though a dedicated app created by Via, a TransitTech company which works with local authorities across the country. The bus runs on a loop across the three communities from 6.55am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 6pm on Saturdays. There is a flat fare for using the service of £1.20 for adults and 65p for children between the ages of five and 17.

Customers can pay with card or with cash on the bus. Children under five can travel for free and concessionary bus passes can be used on the service, subject to the council's existing terms and conditions.

YorBus says it is fully accessible, with low floor access and ramp access for users of wheelchairs, pushchairs and people with mobility difficulties.

For more information on YorBus go to