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Vital rural bus services facing the axe
CHARITY bosses behind a successful transport scheme which brings thousands of visitors into the Yorkshire Dales last night (Tuesday, March 5) warned businesses face collapse if the bus services are axed due to funding cuts.
Last year the DalesBus saw passenger numbers increase from 26,000 to 40,000.
But despite improved services this year, and forecasts of even more passengers, funding is due to fall by as much as two thirds next year.
Dr Colin Speakman, chairman of the Yorkshire Dales Society, who helped set up the Dalesbus scheme said it was a constant battle to find funding, although this year the service is secure.
“A lot of businesses out there are hanging on by their finger nails, there could easily be closures and bankruptcies," he said.
"This is a human tragedy and we need to do everything we can to get people out into the Dales.
“This service has been a great success, and this year will be the best ever.
"We’re particularly promoting the services from Darlington, Catterick Garrison and Colburn.
“This is so important, it’s estimated for every £1 spent on transport, £3 is spent in the community."
The DalesBus operates on a budget of £90,000 with a 40-strong team of volunteers.
The North York Moors bus service, on the other side of the county, is already facing the axe at the end of this tourist season.
It will start running in April, carrying more than 10,000 passengers a year into the heart of the National Park.
But at a cost of around £160,000 the North York Moors National Park Authority say they cannot afford to keep it going.
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