Criticisms are mounting in the district over proposals put forward by North Yorkshire County Council for improvements to bus services in the County. Speaking at a virtual Zero Carbon Craven meeting yesterday afternoon organised by Hubbub, an environmental charity working with the district council, Paul Cochrane, who set up ACE’s recent transport and energy survey, urged people to make their concerns known to the county council. The county is currently consulting on its proposals for improvement to bus services, which, if supported by government funding, could start in April. The consultation closes on 7 February.
Last May the government published its ‘National Bus Strategy: Bus Service Improvement Plans’ at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/985379/bus-service-improvement-plans-guidance-to-local-authorities-and-bus-operators.pdf . It stated that: ‘The National Bus Strategy sets out an ambitious vision to dramatically improve bus services in England outside London through greater local leadership, to reverse the recent shift in journeys away from public transport and encourage passengers back to bus. Local Transport Authorities and local bus operators must work at pace with local communities to plan and deliver a fully integrated service with simple, multi-modal tickets, more bus priority measures, the same high quality information for all passengers in more places, and better turn-up-and-go frequencies that keep running into the evenings and at weekends…’
Sharing criticisms of the county council is the Skipton Civic Society. In a statement to the Craven Herald (28 January) they complain that the county council’s plans barely mentions Skipton. The statement says that: “We expected to see services around Skipton and to nearby villages in the morning, evenings and at weekends when services do not run; larger vehicles on some 16 seater routes, a daily bus to Harrogate again and a bus to Grassington at the least. The improvement plan does none of these it focuses on Harrogate, Selby and Scarborough routes and barely mentioned Skipton. Nearly £100 million of the expenditure proposed in the plan is for infrastructure, which includes bus priority in Harrogate and Scarborough…Skipton is not in this phase one.”
The criticisms are backed up by Skipton Town Council who say that the council’s bus plan ‘ignores’ Skipton. “I feel Skipton does not come well out of this”, said one councillor.
After 7 February results of the feedback will be reported to the council’s executive who meet in March. You can still take part in the consultation by ringing 01609 780780, by going to https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/enhanced-partnership-consultation or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
The outcome of our transport and energy survey’s findings were reported to the ACE Green Café meeting on 15 January by Paul Cochrane and you can hear the recording at: https://youtu.be/-aMAy8Tzkjk
Hubbub is a London based charity that promotes ways of living that are good for the environment. It is working alongside Craven council officers, community groups and residents to encourage people to think about the steps they can take to reduce carbon emissions in their homes and help tackle climate change. You can find out more at: https://www.hubbub.org.uk/pages/category/about-hubbub
Photo:North Yorkshire CC web site.