Fundraising is once again underway to support the popular network of Summer Sunday bus services into and around the Nidderdale area.
Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a superb asset for the area, with its beautiful scenery, peaceful environment and numerous attractions. However, access can be difficult without the use of private transport, which can be environmentally damaging and isn’t available to around a quarter of households nationally. Transport was raised as the number one concern in a survey of local residents conducted by Harrogate Borough Council and Nidderdale Plus in 2018.
In recent years DalesBus has provided a network of three bus services into and around Nidderdale AONB on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays, connecting with the 24 bus between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge. In 2019 the number of journeys made on the buses increased by 8% so plans are being made for the services to run again in 2020, with the first buses running at Easter weekend.
Plans for next year’s services were warmly welcomed at a recent meeting of Nidderdale Strategic Partnership, as the network delivers a range of social, environmental and economic benefits to the area. The DalesBus network is managed by the Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, a not for profit social enterprise. It is run entirely by volunteers, is part of the Yorkshire Dales Society (the Friends of the Dales), a registered charity.
The bus services are contracted from commercial operators. Volunteer director Paul Chattwood explained:
The operating cost of the network is estimated at around £24,000, with £9,500 income from fares/concessionary reimbursement, leaving a funding requirement of £14,500. So far, funding of around £10,000 has already kindly been offered, including major contributions by the National Trust and the Jaytee Foundation, leaving a fundraising target of around £4,500. We’d like to thank all the businesses, organisations and individuals who supported the buses in 2019, and invite them and others to support the DalesBus services in 2020.
Further details of the fundraising campaign are online at www.dalesbus.org/nidderdale and donations can also be sent directly to Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company, Canal Wharf, Eshton Road, Gargrave, North Yorkshire, BD23 3PN