At the AGM held in Leeds following an appeal from Executive Member Veronica Boulton the Executive unanimously agreed to support the Dalesbus Project highlighted below with a donation for 2011.
An improved Sunday and Bank Holiday DalesBus network will operate in Summer 2011, despite the funding cuts which have been made by North Yorkshire County Council.
This has largely been made possible by the superb success of DalesBus in 2010/11. A growth of around 30% in passenger numbers and the consequent extra fare box income has allowed the Dales & Bowland CIC (which now manages most of the services) to roll over funding into 2011/12. Great support has been provided, despite economic difficulties, from Metro, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Nidderdale AONB. Valuable support has also come from several voluntary sources including the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group, the Yorkshire Dales Society, the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line, the Pennine Way Association and CPRE Wensleydale, Swaledale and Craven; as well as Northern Rail and the National Trust.
This does however all come at a price. In order to secure vital continuity, and keep DalesBus passenger numbers growing, the D&BCIC has decided to use all its financial reserves to support the summer 2011 network. What happens in winter 2011/12 will depend on whether or not passenger numbers continue to grow, and whether new sources of funding can be found.
DalesBus 2012 will be completely dependent on the success of a joint bid being made by several organisations to the Government’s new Local Sustainable Transport Fund through the Dales Integrated Alliance (DITA www.dalesconnect.net).
In the meantime each and every journey made on DalesBus this summer will count, both to increase our income and financial reserves, but also to add political weight to our bid for future funding. Most fares have been frozen again for 2011. Passengers over 60 who benefit from a concessionary pass who are able to help a little more might like to think about buying a ticket for the occasional journey!
Details of the summer services are available online at www.dalesbus.org