John Grogan MP was welcomed by directors of Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company and members of Friends of DalesBus and the Friends of the Dales to join them on a short walk and pub lunch in Kettlewell on Sunday 14th January using DalesBus service 874 which runs from Wakefield, Leeds and Ilkley to Bolton Abbey, Grassington, Kettlewell and Buckden.
Mr Grogan recently tabled an Early Day Motion in parliament regarding the DalesBus service which has so far been backed by 11 MPs:
“That this House congratulates The Dales and Bowland Community Interest Group, a subsidiary of the Yorkshire Dales Society, on its 10th anniversary; acknowledges the work that this not-for-profit company has undertaken with its DalesBus service to deliver affordable public passenger transport to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Forest of Bowland every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the year; notes that the continuation of the DalesBus service is essential so that less traffic enters the National Parks; further notes the mental and physical health benefits to West and North Yorkshire residents which the DalesBus offers by improving mobility and combatting isolation and loneliness, as well as the economic benefits it brings to pubs, cafes, shops and other businesses in the Yorkshire Dales National Park; notes that in  the Group wants to reinstate the Summer Sunday Nidderdale Service which will give people from West Yorkshire direct access to Washburndale and Nidderdale and serve no less than seven reservoirs; welcomes the continuing financial support that West Yorkshire gives to DalesBus; and calls on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Yorkshire Water to consider doing likewise.”
Mr Grogan said “I was keen to travel on the 874 DalesBus which runs every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday throughout the year bringing thousands of people to enjoy the beauty of the Dales over the last ten years. The service is managed entirely by volunteers and I find it odd that whilst West Yorkshire councils have put their hands in their pockets to help fund these services, this year the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority has not. They get around £4.5m of national taxpayer’s money and I am sure if there was the will they could find funding of £22,000 annually to match that from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.”
Dales and Bowland Community Interest Company are finalising their plans for DalesBus services for this coming Summer. They are hoping to add a new service to their Summer DalesBus network to make it possible for people from Keighley and those along the Airedale corridor to access Washburndale and Upper Nidderdale whilst also offering connections onto other DalesBus services at Otley and Pateley Bridge.
John Grogan said, “A crucial meeting when the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority are due to set their 2018-19 Budget is expected to be held on 27th March 2018 and the walkers and bus users of Yorkshire who spend thousands in the Dales each year will be watching their decision with interest.”
“2019 will mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of our National Parks. Only last week Michael Gove published “A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment” which devoted an entire chapter to improving access and connecting people with the natural environment to improve health and wellbeing. What better time for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to take some positive action and fund some buses.”