A recent campaign by Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, Nidderdale Plus (a local charity devoted to the support of communities in Nidderdale) and Dales & Bowland CIC means Nidderdale’s number 24 bus service will not be axed now for commercial reasons and will run every day in the winter months after all.
After a successful meeting in early September, with The Harrogate Bus Company, Dales & Bowland CIC and new sponsors Harrogate Spring Water, a delighted chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, Keith Tordoff paid tribute to everyone in the Dales who had made the campaign victorious. He said: “We had to raise £4,000 towards the cost of retaining a Sunday bus service in the winter and people responded magnificently."
The new sponsorship deal with a high-profile firm known for its community support means the Pateley Bridge to Harrogate service will continue to run on Winter Sundays for at least two more years.
Alex Hornby, Chief Executive of The Harrogate Bus Company, said: “We have always been keen to find a way to bring security and stability to our important route 24 through Nidderdale, and promised we would work with the community to identify ways to bring about improvements. This new, groundbreaking partnership with Harrogate Water, brought about through our relationship and ongoing consultation with Nidderdale Chamber of Trade and DalesBus, will secure the winter Sunday service and will neatly lead the way into exciting improvements to the route.”
James Cain OBE, Chief Executive of Harrogate Water Brands said: “We are delighted to support a local campaign that will secure a vital community transport link. We look forward to exploring how we can further support this service for both the local community and this beautiful part of Yorkshire.”
Chamber of Trade Chairman Keith Tordoff said saving the bus service would give a boost the whole community, as well as local businesses, commuters and tourists. He said: “There were exciting ideas at the meeting to improve the service and make it more popular. For example, there will be changes to the timetable so that it fits services from Leeds and Bradford. We're very hopeful this is just the start of the story not just a one-off. Everyone at the meeting could see the benefit of supporting this wonderful bus service in Nidderdale."
Paul Chattwood, Commercial Director of Dales & Bowland CIC, said: “We are keen to help develop the service as part of the popular DalesBus network, and hope that other companies will be interested in providing support for other parts of the network to help keep the beautiful Yorkshire Dales accessible for everyone in an environmentally-friendly way. This new partnership builds on our successful partnership with Acorn Stairlifts to provide the Acorn Wensleydale Flyer service.”
Funding to support the Winter Sunday buses has also been provided by North Yorkshire County Council, Pateley Bridge Town Council, Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, and individual donors.
The new Sunday bus timetable, effective from 1st October 2017, can be downloaded here (PDF file). It offers three return trips, with the first leaving Harrogate at 1015 to provide easier morning bus connections from services 36, 70 and 747 from West Yorkshire and the last bus returning from Pateley Bridge at 1625 - hopefully a more popular time, especially in winter.