New timetables for some bus services supported by North Yorkshire County Council come into effect in April.
The new timetables and some changes to services follow consultation with communities and bus users last year about the council’s proposal to reduce bus subsidies by £500,000 due to decreases in Government funding.
Although 85 per cent of bus journeys in North Yorkshire are made on commercial services, which are self-financing, the council has been providing more than £2m a year to fund additional services.
With the changes now being introduced, that has been reduced to £1.5m a year.
The County Council has brokered deals with a number of bus operators to maintain a larger proportion of subsidised services across the county at a lower cost. It will also be making more use of its own fleet of minibuses and expanding community car schemes across the county to retain a passenger transport network that enables people to access essential services and to prevent rural isolation.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Transport, said: “Retaining a bus network across a large rural county like ours is crucially important to those of our residents who have little or no access to other means of transport.
“The Government’s budget reductions mean we have needed to look at every area of council expenditure. Reducing the amount we spend on local bus services has presented challenges, but we are fortunate that North Yorkshire bus operators have a can-do approach which extends beyond their commercial networks.
“Part of the solution is to attract more fare-paying passengers, so there is an important role for local people in helping to keep their bus service by using it on a regular basis.”
Details of changes to services and the full amended timetables are available online at
www.northyorks.gov.uk/buses. Timetables will also be available from bus service operators.