Call for changes to a bus schedule after problems catching connections to upper Dales (From The Advertiser Series)
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Call for changes to a bus schedule after problems catching connections to upper Dales
Diana Jolland, from Leyburn Tourist Information Hub, said there have been clashes in timings between the commercial service from Northallerton to Bedale, and a council-contracted service to complete the journey into the Upper Dales.
Dales and District Bus Services is a local operator working on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council, but also runs services that are purely commercial, including the half-hourly Bedale to Northallerton route.
Ms Jolland said: “Anyone visiting the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton by bus is finding it increasingly difficult to get the timings right between getting off the 73 service in Bedale and boarding the 156 or 157 two hourly services between Bedale and Hawes. “If the Hawes bus is missed it means a wait of two hours – or a very expensive taxi journey to get home.”
Roy Hardwick from Procters Coaches, which runs Dales and District Bus Services, said: “The majority of people travelling on our buses are regular customers and we look after them very well, but sometimes the buses get delayed.
“The 73 service is scheduled to meet all of the 156 and 157 arrivals and departures in Bedale, and maintaining the connecting link is of paramount importance.
“In view of this need special arrangements and procedures are in place - drivers on both services are linked and departures are held for transferring passengers should these rural services be delayed.”
North Yorkshire county councillor John Blackie said: “The problem is that the service between Northallerton and Bedale is a commercial service, so there is nothing the council can do to address this.
“Clearly it is a problem if people have to wait around for two hours for the next bus if they miss it.”
A spokesman for North Yorkshire County Council said: “We have discussed our concerns with Dales and District in the past and recommended changes to the 73 for a better connection.
“The company has assured the council that in the unlikely event the connection is missed it will ensure passengers are not left stranded.”
Mr Hardwick added: “We are currently developing plans to expand our local services and further improve our customer service and fare structure.”