PUBLIC transport across the region has been cut due to the coronavirus, with revised bus and train timetables.

North Yorkshire has stepped in to support a cluster of villages that have been left without a bus because of a service reduction by a bus operator as a result of the impact of the covid-19 outbreak.

Starting tomorrow, the council will use a vehicle from its own fleet to provide a service.

A bus will run between Newton-on-Ouse and Easingwold, taking in Linton on Ouse, Aldwark and Tholthorpe, and between Sproxton and Easingwold, taking in Oswaldkirk, Ampleforth and Wass.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for Access, said: “First, I would reiterate the government’s advice to avoid all but essential travel, to keep a safe distance from other people and to maintain good hygiene. The service we are putting in place is designed to help people to buy vital supplies.

“We anticipate that there will be an ongoing reduction in bus services that will leave some communities without a bus. Where communities would otherwise be isolated, we will do our best to provide a skeleton service, as we have in this instance. This will be a temporary arrangement making use of spare capacity in our fleet, while we have it, and any other capacity available to us.

“We are intervening in response to these specific, urgent circumstances, which give communities insufficient notice to develop their own solutions.”

People are reminded that these services are intended to enable essential journeys. The government is asking people to stay at home if at all possible.

Train passengers with unwanted tickets will be able to claim fee-free refunds, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

The measure will help people with season tickets or advance tickets who are no longer travelling.

The growth in home working means many commuters have stopped using their weekly, monthly or annual passes.

Obtaining a refund previously involved paying an admin fee of up to £10, but that has been waived.

Rail franchise agreements are to be suspended to avoid train companies collapsing due to the coronavirus, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

Operators are being offered the chance to transfer all revenue and cost risk to the Government, and be paid a small management fee to run services.

Arriva has announced from today they will be operating with a revised timetable.

In a statement on their website they said: “Behind the scenes our planning team have worked hard to revise our timetables and changes start from Monday 23rd March. We want to continue to serve as many places as possible whilst recognising that we have had a large drop in the number of people using the bus as, rightly, social distancing measures are put in place. You will see that the hours we run are, in many cases, reduced and frequencies are also reduced on lots of services.”

Go North East have also reduced services.

They said: “At these unprecedented times, we’re working hard to maintain services but customer demand and available resources are significantly reducing, so from Monday 23 March we’ll still be running routes but to Sunday frequencies. For most routes this means a Sunday timetable but with extra morning peak buses. If routes don’t normally have a Sunday service then special timetables will operate.”