Ripon bus service saved and new Boroughbridge route launched
A Harrogate bus company has stepped in to save the critical ‘Cathedral Connection’ which links Ripon with York.
The popular 142/143 service was in danger of being axed after a reduction in public funding.
However, it will now continue after Transdev committed itself to boosting passenger numbers on the route.
The 142/143 will work alongside a new 1A service between Boroughbridge, Knaresborough and Harrogate, running every hour from Monday to Saturday.
Transdev chief executive Alex Hornby said: “The original consultation risked that Boroughbridge would suffer a reduced service, but instead we are introducing additional buses and more routes.
“The end result is actually better news for Boroughbridge residents, and will bring more people and more business into the town.
“It’s so important to get more people on board the bus and we are pleased to do our bit as a commercial operator, working in partnership with our colleagues at North Yorkshire County Council, and stepping in at a time when public savings need to be made.”
Transdev have worked hard to roll out the new 1A service in time for Christmas.
The hourly bus will provide a vital link for Boroughbridge residents to Knaresborough, St James Retail Park, Harrogate’s Christmas markets and late night shopping.
North Yorkshire County Council welcomed the news.
As part of its consultation to reduce the amount spent subsidising bus services, the county council had asked operators to look for additional opportunities for commercial services.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for public transport, said: “We recognise the need to develop transport services across this largely rural county, but the county council must find savings equal to a third of its budget. For this reason we consulted widely on our proposals to reduce bus service subsidies and we are working hard to find new solutions to transport needs.
“As part of this we asked existing operators to look for ways of expanding their commercial routes and boosting their passenger numbers.
“Transdev has made a tremendous response both in providing this new service and making a commitment to grow passenger numbers on services 142 and 143. This was a service where we had proposed a reduction, however by working closely with the operator we are confident we can retain the existing level of service.”
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Planning and Sustainable Transport said: “It is important that we have good provision of public transport across the district and this new regular direct service between Harrogate to Boroughbridge provides a much needed additional link.
“It is great news for commuters and shoppers who can consider leaving the car at home. It will also give non-drivers greater freedom and more choice as to when they wish to travel.”