Council steps in after bus firm collapses

The Little Red Bus in  Knaresborough

The Little Red Bus in Knaresborough

Popular community bus services across the Harrogate and North Yorkshire area are set to continue despite a long-established bus operator going bust.

The Harrogate-based Little Red Bus company went into liquidation earlier this month after failing to pay a long-standing loan from 2007.

But now North Yorkshire County Council will run temporary alternative travel arrangements following the decision to wind-up the community based operator.

North Yorkshire County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, who is the executive member for passenger transport, said:

“We are very sorry that the Little Red Bus Company has had to take this action.

“It provided a highly-valued service for many people living in Yorkshire and it is extremely sad that it can no longer function.”

Services will continue to operate on the South Harrogate Village Bus, Harrogate Demand Responsive Services, South Craven village bus, North Craven Taxi Bus and others serving the Harrogate area.

However there will be no plans to replace the Saturday X59 service between Harrogate and Skipton, the authority said.

The council revealed this month that the bus company was going into liquidation at the end of July as it could no longer afford the repayments.

Before the liquidation, Lyn Costelloe, former chief executive of Little Red Bus, was recently awarded a BEM.

The community transport service was founded in 1986 and has been delivering affordable and accessible transport services and solutions in the Harrogate district and throughout North Yorkshire since.

It provided support for the elderly, disabled and those isolated through lack of access to public transport.

Meanwhile a growing network of bus links across the North Yorkshire area and the Dales are offering cheap efficient transport.

The Dales Integrated Transport Alliance (DITA) is offering people - the chance to travel throughout the Dales for £1.

The service will offer routes on the No 24 bus service from Harrogate up into Nidderdale, as well as services running from Richmond and Northallerton into Wensleydale and Swaledale.

Helen Flynn, chairman of the DITA, said: “What we hope is that we have a ‘bus ride bonanza’ in the Dales over the summer months, so that young people get into the habit of using the bus.

“If we get a significant increase in regular users, we hope to use the data to help persuade national Government that for a relatively small subsidy or possible even none fares can be affordable, simple and consistent for young people nationally.”




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