The government has set aside a £3bn fund to which local transport authorities, like North Yorkshire County Council, can bid to develop local bus services. Responding to this, NYCC are writing a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) which is required as part of the bidding process. The bid must be submitted by October 2021.
Local MP, Andrew Jones, is calling on the county council to bid for cash to re-instate recently axed services to residential areas on the outskirts of Harrogate, such as the popular Wedderburn route, and the Boroughbridge to Harrogate service.
Mr Jones commented:
There are so many reasons why we should be expanding bus services and doing our utmost to secure funding for it.
The removal of the Wedderburn bus route some years ago cut off a whole section of our community from access to the hospital, the medical centre at Mowbray Square and the town centre. The number of elderly people in the Wedderburn area is high and to many of them the bus was a lifeline. I hope that this can be included in any proposals for enhanced bus services.
The lack of a bus service between Boroughbridge and Harrogate is a longstanding problem. People who work in either but live in the other have no option but to use a car. There are also many young people who study in Harrogate but live in Boroughbridge, or the villages in between the towns, who can only get to their school or college using a car.
If we are to encourage people out of their cars to reduce carbon emissions and address our climate crisis we need to provide as many alternatives as possible. That is why the county council’s bid for this cash is important. It would be a real step forward if this bid were to be successful and brilliant if there two routes in particular could be part of that bid.