MORE details have emerged of major improvements on the way for public transport in some of the more far-flung areas of North Yorkshire.

The county has won £631,500 after making a bid to the Government's Rural Bus Challenge competition and the money will be spent on three projects.

A total of £261,000 will fund a new minibus service between Hawes and Garsdale Station, on the Settle to Carlisle line.

The peak-time services aim to provide a link to the station for commuters from Hawes and other villages.

And during off-peak times, the minibus will serve Hawes and other villages for people going shopping or to connect with hourly services through Wensleydale.

A dial-a-ride minibus service, which aims to improve transport links to more than 50 rural settlements across Harrogate district, has received £280,500.

The money will cover the purchase and running costs for three years of two 16-seater minibuses, which will provide transport for those on low incomes, students and elderly people requiring access to health or daycare facilities.

The buses will improve access for remote areas around Masham, Upper Nidderdale, Boroughbridge and Ripon.

A further £90,000 will go to rural transport information and booking services at Harrogate to help encourage the use of vehicles outside peak hours.

The centre will also take on responsibility for the new Harrogate district car-sharing scheme, to encourage greater sharing of cars between employees of large organisations in Harrogate.

The transport team leader for the Government Office for the region, Phil Jones, said the idea behind the funding was to provide benefits for rural areas.

He said: "It will aid the development of transport services which are tailor-made to increase accessibility to a range of health, education and employment opportunities for rural residents in some of our most remote areas."

The county council's executive member for transport, Councillor John Fort, said: "Good communications are vital in a rural county the size of North Yorkshire.

"These projects will enable us to offer choice, flexibility and quality services to the most remote areas."