With only days left to secure the return of three summer and bank-holiday bus services across the Dales, a final appeal has been made to secure the funds needed and ‘cross the finishing line.’
A further £2,000 still needs to be raised for the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company by Monday (February, 4) to bring back services which were used by around 3,000 last year to travel across Nidderdale.
So far there has been a major show of support for the services since the Herald’s report last week. The Yorke Arms in Ramsgill is pledging £2,000 to the project, along with donations by the National Trust, and councillors in the area providing funding through the North Yorkshire County Council’s Locality Budget.
However time is running short, says Keith Tordoff Chairman of the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, adding that a ‘final push was needed’ to see the service return, which earlier this month looked ‘extremely doubtful.’
He said: “Last week was the eleventh hour, now we are literally down to the last few hours. We need to raise £2,000 for the service to go ahead. Clearly the benefits were proved last year, with around 3,000 people using the services.
“It has huge potential for the area, that’s why we are appealing. We are so close now, but it’s urgent that we get this money in time. It would be a real shame not to, after raising so much money and being so close to the target.” He added: “We are just about to cross the finishing line, but until we cross that line there is a risk for the service.”
The service was hailed last year for helping to draw more visitors to the Dales, and improving access for locals. It’s expected to again offer a boost for businesses, aided by the additional influx of visitors drawn by major events including the upcoming UCI Road World Championships.
The potential for the bus service to become permanent is also ‘moving in the direction’ and helping Nidderdale to ‘buck the national trend’ for services, according to the chamber, with ticket revenues expected to continue rising because of this.
The buses are planned to provide links into Nidderdale from York, Ripon, Keighley and Otley, with buses also running from Pateley to Scar House in
Upper Nidderdale, Coldstones Cut, Grassington and the Washburn Valley. Another bus will link Harrogate with Brimham Rocks, Fountains Abbey, Kirkby Malzeard and Masham.