A BID has been submitted for more than £1m to fund an innovative community transport scheme in the Yorkshire Dales.

The proposal by the Dales Integrated Transport Alliance (DITA) could see local transport hubs created across the Dales.

Larger buses and trains would drop off passengers, who would then be taken to villages, farms and tourist attractions in smaller vehicles.

The alliance, which is made up of community groups and transport providers, has applied for the money from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, announced by the Department for Transport last year.

Helen Flynn, of DITA, said: “Obviously, we are living in difficult times and we have already seen cuts to passenger transport in our area.

“Through our application to this Government fund, we hope not only to create a more responsive service that could mitigate the effects of cuts made so far, but also to encourage people to use public transport more and therefore reduce our carbon footprint.”

Ms Flynn said the aim was to develop a more bespoke and community-led transport network.

She said: “We have been able to submit our innovative bid in time for the first tranche close. As the Local Sustainable Transport Fund is limited in size, we felt it was important to meet the first close in order to maximise our chances of gaining the £1.1m we have requested.”

The bid is supported by transport company Metro, North Yorkshire County Council and Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Other groups and businesses already involved in the project include TransDev, Northern Rail, Little Red Bus, DalesBus, Friends of the Earth Harrogate, Friends of Settle-Carlisle Line and Welcome to Yorkshire.

If the bid is successful, the alliance will appeal for more community groups, businesses, transport providers and statutory organisations to get involved to complement and enlarge the system of services currently available.

The group has begun contacting parish and town councils to get their support.

Local transport hubs would be based in towns in the national park such as Ripon, Leyburn, Hawes and Reeth.