Ilkley bus service could be saved under new proposals

Ilkley Gazette: Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales Grassington in the Yorkshire Dales

A bus service linking Ilkley and Yorkshire Dales communities could win a reprieve from local authority subsidy cuts.

North Yorkshire County Council officers have revised proposals for cuts to its bus subsidies aimed at saving the authority more than £1 million.

Instead of ending its subsidy for the Ilkley to Grassington service 74 – replacing it with a dial-a-ride service – it has now drawn up plans to reduce its subsidy.

This would mean the bus, operated by Pride of the Dales, would still run three times a day between Grassington and Ilkley.

The proposals were drawn up following the public consultation period late in 2013.

They were due to go before North Yorkshire County Council’s executive on Tuesday, but the decision has now been postponed until later this month.

Officers recommended that the council goes ahead with the changes.

The council says it has postponed the decision because of difficulties experienced providing access for members of the public to the relevant report papers online over the Christmas period.

The executive is now due to discuss the subsidy cuts, as well as an increase in transport charges for sixth form pupils and students, on January 21.

Passengers who rely on the service contacted the Gazette when the bus route first came under threat amid the proposals by North Yorkshire County Council to axe its subsidy.

As well as the impact on those who rely on the service to get about day to day, there were fears the loss of the bus service could hit those without a car who want to visit the Dales – and deprive rural communities of money going into the local economy from walkers and other visitors.

An Ilkley resident told the Gazette the council had not considered the wider social, economic and environmental impacts and resulting costs of their proposals.

For more details, visit northyorks.gov.uk or dalesbus. org.

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