North Yorkshire County Council has welcomed a decision by the bus operator, Transdev, to introduce an additional regular commercial service between Harrogate and Boroughbridge.
As part of its consultation to reduce the amount spent subsidising bus services, the county council has asked operators to look for additional opportunities for commercial services.
“We recognise the need to develop transport services across this largely rural county, but the county council must find savings equal to a third of its budget,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Public Transport. “For this reason we consulted widely on our proposals to reduce bus service subsidies and we are working hard to find new solutions to transport needs.
“As part of this we asked existing operators to look for ways of expanding their commercial routes and boosting their passenger numbers.
“Transdev has made a tremendous response both in providing this new service and making a commitment to grow passenger numbers on services 142 and 143,” added Cllr Mackenzie. This was a service where we had proposed a reduction, however by working closely with the operator we are confident we can retain the existing level of service.”
Alex Hornby, Chief Executive at Transdev said: “It’s so important to get more people on board the bus and we are pleased to do our bit as a commercial operator, working in partnership with our colleagues at North Yorkshire CC, and stepping in at a time when public savings need to be made.
“The original consultation risked that Boroughbridge would suffer a reduced service, but instead we are introducing additional buses and more routes. Despite a reduction in public funding, the Ripon-York ‘Cathedral Connection’ will be maintained in full on routes 142 & 143. This will be alongside a new, fully commercial route 1A between Boroughbridge, Knaresborough and Harrogate every hour Monday to Saturday. The end result is actually better news for Boroughbridge residents, and will bring more people and more business into the town.”
Councillor Rebecca Burnett, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for Planning and Sustainable Transport said: “It is important that we have good provision of public transport across the district and this new regular direct service between Harrogate to Boroughbridge provides a much needed additional link. It is great news for commuters and shoppers who can consider leaving the car at home. It will also give non-drivers greater freedom and more choice as to when they wish to travel.”