Monday 31st May 2021
It was 45 years ago this month when I first made the journey from Leeds to Hawes by bus. I remember it was a Saturday on a West Yorkshire Road Car Bristol RE and with a conductor too. As a Londoner with bus and train rides until then largely confined to the South East it was a revelation to travel through increasingly more stunning Yorkshire Dales scenery as we headed north on the three hour plus journey (I’m pretty sure we went via Bradford). And if the novelty of squeezing through Bolton Abbey arch wasn’t enough, beyond Grassington my eyes were positively popping at the boundless beauty the spectacular landscape of the Dales has to offer.
After leaving the West Riding bus company in 1977 for a career in Kent, South Wales and, of course, Brighton which involved lots of time consuming commitments it was many years before I could make a repeat visit and soak up that wonderful Dales countryside again. It’s only since retirement I’ve been able to make an annual pilgrimage to ride on what is now a Sunday only route numbered 875 (and 874) within the fantastic DalesBus network.
I can’t praise the volunteers who work so hard behind the scenes to organise and oversee DalesBus every year enough. They put the meagre efforts of some professional well paid bus company and local authority managers to shame with their consistent delivery of high quality information comprising timetables, tickets and maps to encourage passengers on to the network contracted out to, and complimented by, local bus operators.
I had the privilege of giving a talk to the annual meeting of the Friends of DalesBus a few years ago and it really was impressive to see the enthusiasm and passion for their bus routes among those attending. Despite the significant financial challenges they face every year, it’s a consistently successful operation hugely popular with regular passengers. On some buses it’s like a club outing there’s so much camaraderie among the regulars.
I was absolutely delighted to hear route 875 has this year been upgraded to a double deck and contracted to First Leeds rather than the previous single deck operation which has been the mainstay of Arriva Yorkshire for many years and York Pullman before that, then numbered route 800.
Although this means taking a different route between Ilkley and Grassington via the outskirts of Skipton rather than through that archway at Bolton Abbey, any fun of missing the driver squeeze the bus through is more than made up for by the tremendous views now available from the top deck.
Indeed, when we left Leeds precisely on time at 09:15 yesterday morning there must have been a good 25-30 passengers on the upper deck with a completely empty lower deck.
I’ve always thought some bus operators miss a trick by not running more double decks on a Sunday though scenic areas to encourage leisure travellers and this experience certainly reinforces my view.
I’d made sure I was at Leeds city bus station in very good time before departure to stand a chance of a front seat view but knew there’d be regulars also doing the same and indeed one stalwart told me he’d been there since 08:00 as I arrived at 08:40 – that’s dedication for you.
The bus arrived at 09:05 enabling the by then large queue of passengers to all be on board prior to the scheduled departure.
Even more impressive a copy of a DalesBus summer weekend timetable produced by West Yorkshire Metro containing details of selected routes into the Dales from West Yorkshire had been placed on every seat pair by our driver Darren. A small gesture but a fantastic one.
And there were more supplies by the door.
We picked more passengers up as we headed out of Leeds through Headingley and Otley and made the connection in Ilkley with the York Pullman single deck operated journey numbered 874 from Wetherby via Leeds to Buckden which is routed via Bolton Abbey but otherwise acts as a sort of duplicate bus for much of the route about five minutes behind us.
In Grassington we made a scheduled ten minute stop at 10:50 and picked up a good number of transferring passengers from the Keighley Bus Company operated route 72 from Skipton as well as providing a toilet stop for those on board.
We left spot on time at 11:00 with what I’m guessing were about 50 passengers on board making it just as well we had a double decker.
We dropped off passengers at many of the good points to start a ramble and beauty spots during the following 75 minute journey to Hawes as we passed through the very best scenery anywhere in England on offer from a bus.
Quite a few alighted and boarded at the delightful Kettlewell …
… where another brief and welcome comfort stop was offered to passengers by our driver Darren who took the opportunity to stretch his legs after two hours of driving.
A special word for Darren who drove superbly along what in places is a challenging road with narrow twists and turns especially with many cyclists out for a ride …
…as well as flotillas of motorcyclists who love to pass by in convoy on their way to the traditional leather clad gathering at Hawes every Sunday.
Darren really did a great job throughout the journey showing patience and courtesy making for a thoroughly enjoyable ride.
We arrived into Hawes just slightly after the scheduled 12:15 arrival time with most passengers alighting in the centre of the village as the bus continued on to terminate at the nearby Creamery.
A connection with the Arriva North East operated route 831 to Kirkby Lonsdale via Ribblehead and Ingleton (which had arrived earlier from Middlesbrough and Richmond – another great bus ride) was waiting our arrival.
DalesBus offer a £10 Dales Rover ticket which offers great value covering all DalesBus routes as well as Flyer A2 and A3, WitchWay and PendleWizz, all Harrogate and Keighley bus routes, Stagecoach 280 and First Leeds 33, 34 and X84.
The situation regarding Concessionary Bus Passes is complicated by North Yorkshire County Council classifying DalesBus routes as “tourist routes” and excluding them from the Scheme, but DalesBus offer a £3 single ticket for passholders and West Yorkshire Combined Authority still accept passes so they are valid on routes 72/74 and 873, 874, 875 and 884.
Hawes really is a must visit gem in the Dales.
I absolutely love the quaint shops and the bustling nature of its popularity every Sunday.
Especially on a gorgeous sunny day as yesterday was.
After some lunch my usual next trip is on route 856 eastwards via Leyburn to Northallerton.
This is operated by Dales and District with smaller single decks and one year I recall just an 16 seater minibus which ended up leaving passengers behind. I didn’t want to risk anything similar so decided to use the facility to pre-book a journey westwards to Garsdale Station with the community run Little White Bus company.
I booked it on the telephone a few weeks ago. There’s no fancy apps with their unfriendly restricted offerings here, oh no, this is a customer friendly book by phone affair with a locally based person taking your call and giving you every confidence the bus will be there for you and sure enough it was.
David, my driver, is a full time paid employee for the Little White Bus and drives a number of scheduled journeys to connect with trains including one morning and two afternoon journeys between Garsdale and Hawes but any extra journeys during the day such as mine run only if pre-booked. The company also run a number of other routes across Wensleydale.
The fare from Hawes to Garsdale was £5 single and no concessionary passes are accepted on bespoke journeys like mine.
It’s great to see small community bus companies like Little White Bus in rural areas such as the Dales as they provide a vital addition to the bus offer. David was telling me that over 90% of passengers are normally visitors from overseas especially the Far East as well as The Netherlands who particularly like the rolling scenery compared to their rather flat home country. They obviously do their online research well before travelling to find out about the travel opportunities Little White Bus offers as I suspect many British visitors to Hawes would be unaware it operates, thinking it’s much easier to jump in a car or on a motorbike.
Garsdale Station is a wonderful one to visit and catch a train from. Splendidly isolated with nothing else nearby, it’s such a tranquil and peaceful spot to wait for a train.
From Garsdale I took a Northern train on the infamous Settle-Carlisle line back to Leeds which involved a change at Skipton due to engineering “improvement” works restricting the number of trains into Leeds yesterday.
It’s always an absolute pleasure to travel along this outstandingly scenic railway line and yesterday was no exception.
From Leeds it was back down the East Coast Main Line with LNER and home.
I’d travelled up to West Yorkshire on Saturday and took the opportunity to take a ride on two of the County’s most scenic bus routes.
The first is route 901 operated by the small Bradford based bus company called tlc. This tendered operation runs between Huddersfield and Hebden Bridge on a rather quirky route taking in Stainland, Barkisland and Ripponden then heading out westwards towards Rochdale before turning northwards across Blake Moor to Hebden Bridge.
The views of the valleys and across the moors as well as passing by a large dam are absolutely stunning.
The last time I made the journey was in February 2018 when there was snow on the moors and slush on the roads so sadly very dirty bus windows meant sideways views were obliterated through the murk and dirt.
However on Saturday the weather was perfect and the windows lovely and clean and it really was a spectacular journey – sadly with only around half a dozen of us on board.
The journey takes about an hour with the timetable offering five journeys a day. It’s definitely worth a ride if you can make it.
From Hebden Bridge I continued heading north to Keighley by catching the Keighley Bus Company’s Bronte Bus branded route B3.
This provides an hourly bus across Oxenhope Moor to Haworth from where a 20 minute frequency is provided with fellow routes B2 and B3 into Keighley.
It’s another superb route with some great scenic views especially on a glorious day as Saturday was.
Our driver was really skilled too in negotiating some difficult parking and oncoming traffic as we headed up the narrow and winding A6033 out of Hebden Bridge, particularly when it soon became obvious one of the motorists heading towards us couldn’t reverse out of the way at all well.
We lost almost ten minutes while the hapless driver ultimately gave up and turned the car round (goodness knows how they passed their driving test) but impressively our driver managed to get us into Keighley on time despite that delay.
Bronte Bus is promoted with great branding on the vehicles outside and inside showing how effective a well designed livery and fitting out in the interior can be even on a 16 year old vehicle.
That journey also takes about an hour making for a fantastic two hours of great scenic bus riding. I took the train from Leeds to Huddersfield and back from Keighley making for a great afternoon travel experience.
A DaySaver £9 ticket offers unlimited bus and rail travel throughout West Yorkshire offering convenient integrated travel at a great value price – perhaps Andy Burnham should take note, you don’t need a franchise structure and take huge revenue risks with public money to achieve such great value tickets.
All in all a splendid weekend’s travels by bus and train around a glorious part of the Country and the bonus of a Bank Holiday today to rest at home, especially as Saturday night’s sleep in Leeds was disrupted with a fire alarm at 02:30.
I hadn’t realised just how young the average weekend guest at a Premier Inn was until then – I was the oldest by a long chalk – and it was good to see hotels getting busy again.
Once again, well done to all at DalesBus, you really are doing a great job.
I’m already looking forward to my next visit.
PS By then I hope North Yorkshire County Council might do their bit and clean up or even replace the rather murky bus stop plate in the centre of Hawes. It might just create a better impression among passing motorists and motor cyclists.
PPS I’ll keep taking a photograph every year until you do replace it! Good to see the timetable cases up to date though, so well done for that.
Great report. Many thanks.
Two of my favourite rides whenever I can manage a trip back to my home area of Halifax – Huddersfield to Hebden Bridge and Hebden Bridge to Keighley!
Last time I went, pre-covid, coincided with the Haworth Vintage 1940s weekend, giving the Brontebus driver an extra headache with clumsy roadside parking in Haworth, but an added attraction for me was that Keighley Bus Co. put a double-decker on! The view from the top-deck over Oxenhope Moor is spectacular!
Its always good to read your reports. Thank you.
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Fantastic Stuart. Very envious of a double deck over Oxenhope Moor.
Your report has given me the kick I needed to finally launch my own explorations of this beautiful part of England, where I now find myself living in retirement! Thank you.
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Brilliant; you won’t regret it Christopher. Have many great trips.
The low bridge does not seem to be correctly marked to be in compliance with the law, Given the number of bridge strikes in the UK that’s not good. It does get tricky though some is law and some is guidance but I would say that bridge does not met the law with regard to low bridge signage
National Express are to cease requiring social distancing on their coaches. It is not clear as if they will still require face masks to be worn
Local Authorities have 5 months to produces their BSIP plans the deadline being the 31st of October
Another interesting and informative article. With regard to Dales Bus, as well as the £3 single ticket available to Concessionary Pass holders on the Sunday network, a £5 day ticket is also available.
You refer to Andy Burnham in the context of the integrated Daysaver ticket available in West Yorkshire. There is no directly comparable ticket in Greater Manchester, but TFGM do have a Wayfarer ticket which offers a days travel on buses, trains and metrolink trams including areas well beyond the GM boundary such as the Peak District, for £14.70 or £9.70 for ENCT pass holders, but they certainly don’t promote this!
Greater Manchester has a selection of System 1 DaySavers for a combination of bus only/and train etc tickets for 1 day, a week or month. Any Bus/train Day Saver is £7.70, which is a lot cheaper than in West Yorkshire
well done on an excellent dalesbus blog,
Fantastic report – and you couldn’t have chosen a better day for it !
However, before Wallace and Gromit write in, can I point out that Little White Bus is based in Wensleydale, not Wharfedale. (The Hawes Creamery is the clue !) LWB also run route 30 up Swaledale from Richmond to Muker and Keld, so really do provide a valuable service in these parts.
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Yes; have had a ride in the 30 – a great route. Will update to Wensleydale!
I fail to see why motorists and motor cyclists would be interested in bus stop signs!?the noise of the motorbikes is a terrible problem for the Pennine Mountain passes.i was reading of a case from the Efiel National Park in Germany where the residents are claiming mental stress over the noise and I can well believe it.in the Yorkshire Dales National Park add the RAF fighters too.45 years ago Hawes was mainly the domain of United and they had a little depot in the ajoining hamlet of Gayle.their services ran east to Northallerton with one going north over the Buttertubs Pass to Richmond via Reeth.Infrequently two other NBC’s served Hawes; Ribble came over from the west but only once or twice a day.West Yorkshire seasonally from Leeds way like now except it’s not West Yorkshire anymore! that Dales and District bus from Northallerton is small but whenever I have been on it it’s never been too busy.those other seasonal services are busy.
Gayle did indeed have a small depot with two United vehicles based there for services down Wensleydale to Leyburn before heading to either to Richmond, or to Ripon. The United service from Leyburn to Northallerton originally worked through to Darlington but latterly was truncated. In the late 1970s/early 1980s, United then ran the 30 up Swaledale across the Buttertubs to Hawes, and it reappeared fleetingly in the last days before Arriva vacated the area.
Ribble ran to Hawes from Kendal via Sedbergh and Garsdale on Tues/Fri (being Hawes and Kendal market days respectively) all year round.
Instead, the Dalesbus network owes much of its history to West Yorkshire Road Car who would send Bristol RELHs and Leyland Leopards from Leeds and Bradford via a range of routes in the 1970s and 1980s to Hawes and Keld.
Fantastic pictures, lovely to see so many people using buses on a Sunday too.
“A DaySaver £9 ticket offers unlimited bus and rail travel throughout West Yorkshire offering convenient integrated travel at a great value price – perhaps Andy Burnham should take note, you don’t need a franchise structure and take huge revenue risks with public money to achieve such great value tickets.”
Greater Manchester already has such a ticket: System One 1 day AnyBus & Train Adult (Off-Peak)£7.70, so at £1.30 more the W Yorkshire offering is comparatively rather expensive! All day tram/train/bus is £10.
In fact, Greater Manchester goes one better, a Wayfarer ticket is valid for a day anywhere in Greater Manchester and in parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and the Peak District for £14.70 on the train/tram and bus. https://tfgm.com/tickets-and-passes/wayfarer-adult – does West Yorkshire have anything similar for out of County Travel?
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Re Greater Manchester bus and train tickets:
The range is pretty comprehensive with one day off-peak tickets as mentioned by Rob. In addition there are weekly, 4 weekly and annual bus and train tickets branded Countycard with no peak restrictions.
The major irony in Greater Manchester is that the biggest hole in the multi-operator ticket range is the lack of such tickets including the Metrolink tram, currently the one major provision provided by TfGM. The only ticket available is the one day off-peak travelcard, there is no equivalent of Countycard including Metrolink. Metrolink does not participate in PlusBus. A cynic might think that TfGM is more bothered about its Metrolink revenue stream than promoting multi-operator tickets!
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North Yorks CC don’t necessarily deserve praise for updating the timetable displays. In most cases this is yet another task left to the volunteers of Dales Bus, with a little help from our Bus Users’ Group on this side of the hills.
We also challenged NYCC and Lancashire (who follow them blindly) on their refusal to allow ENCTS passes on Dales Bus services as they don’t appear to meet the criteria for exclusion set out in the legislation. (They allow point-to-point travel, charge standard fares and have no added extras such as commentaries, Tour Guides or inclusive admission prices). At least Lancashire referred our complaint to their legal department, but North Yorkshire didn’t even acknowledge our email (or the email complaining about the lack of acknowledgment!) In the end we decided not to pres the case as Dales Bus felt that the level of reimbursement in North Yorkshire is so low they were better off out of the scheme.
Jim Davies, Lancaster Bus Users Group.
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Thanks Jim; very interesting to hear that background.
Really interesting,. We have just come back form Exeter and travelling to Tavistock on the fine Dartmoor Explorer you recently used.
Your point about publicity is well made. Why do so few TICs recommend bus routes?
if they are even open, that is. This is an odd year, but no bus or TIC offices were open that we could find in any Devon town we visited.
We shall be in Skipton in August and wonder how best to access bus routes before we get there – hoping that a TIC with timetables will be open when we arrive. Grassington and Hawes sound good.
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Details of all the routes serving Skipton (apart from NYCC-operated town services) can be accessed via the Dalesbus website at https://www.dalesbus.org/all-year-buses.html. All services from Skipton into the Dales (Settle, Malham, Grassington, Harrogate) are also in the Dalesbus timetable booklet at https://www.dalesbus.org/uploads/1/1/3/9/113919127/dalesbus.pdf. If you want a hard-copy, I am sure that the Skipton Tourist Information Centre (https://www.cravendc.gov.uk/skipton-town-hall/tourist-information/) will stock them – you could always give them a call before your visit to check they are available.
Another very enjoyable read.
I think you may have got your “westwards” and “eastwards” directions from Hawes mixed up!
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Thanks Steven; I’m always doing that!
Lovely report of a super area, but I think you were holding our map upside down. Isn’t Northallerton east of Hawes & Garsdale west?
The ride up Whafedale through Buckden etc in a double decker is a treat that I have enjoyed on many occasions. it’s something that comes and goes over the years. Arriva used to run the 800 from Wakefield to Hawes with an Olympian. At one stage it used to also run on Tuesdays and connections could be made onto the Cumbria Classic Coaches 569 to Kirkby Stephen, which was also double deck at that time due to high loadings. indeed one day, I was lucky enough to get the Bristol FS with its roof off, a lovely open top ride. You could alternatively connect onto Mr Bulmer’s Bristol MW to go to Garsdale Station and back, or indeed stay on all the way back to Ripon. Back to Sundays, and one year (or was it two), the 800 had competition up Wharfedale from the X43 double decker all the way from Manchester to Hawes, although oddly this took a slightly different route between West Burton and Aysgarth. After a reorganisation of routes deckers ceased trough Wharfdale, but returned for at least one summer when Yorkshire Tiger ran Leeds to Hawes with a bright orange decker (and I think they did some mid week trips from Bradford also). Deckers returned to Wharfedale on the 875 in 2019, when Arriva from Selby ran an 821 from Selby to Grassington (via York & Ripon), that then continued as an 875 to Hawes. Guess nothing ran in 2020, but this year the 821, and the short 875 are running again with a double decker, albeit by First York, and without the Selby section. Hawes has rather surprisingly had quite a few double deck routes in the recent past, with Cumbria Classic also at times running a decker to Ribblehead Station on the 570, and a short lived 469 circular to Hardraw. Wensleydale Railway Company was also a bus operator, and ran a regular double deck service with bright yellow buses between Hawes and Northallerton, (with evening journeys from Masham) and even a night bus back to Hawes from the discos of Northallerton. For a while they also ran a Garsdale Station to Aysgarth Station open top service.
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That’s going back a bit!I remember that one the Wensleydale Railway buses.they took over United’s routes up the Dale and also the Post Bus that ran from Northallerton to Hawes from outside of the Post Office I think at 11hr.and came back about 17hr from Hawes Post Office.They ran,WR,a very extensive service up the Dale and really cared about public transport I assume that it was a sort of prelude to reopening the railway as a true form of public transport which never happened.sadly they failed and I think that WR must have sold out to Proctors thus forming the base of Dales and District?
Someone mentioned Buttertubs Pass. My first trip to the area was in a West Yorkshire single deck from Leeds Station to Keld via Hawes, and then over Buttertubs. In those days they used to pull up for 5 minutes, so the passengers could alight to peer down into the Buttertubs themselves. With any luck nobody fell in. The pass is still part of the Dalesbus Network, and I was lucky enough to go up it in a double decker on it’s way via Keld and through to Kirkby Stephen on a privately organised tour a few years ago.
I love all the routes around Hebden Bridge, although its a bit sad that the long time Saturday only bus over the moors to Burnley (still operated by First at that stage), finally ended in 2016. The B3 to Keighley replaced the 500 that was almost always a double decker, and a must ride route in the area. Deckers to the narrow cobbled Hepstonstall Village, and to Old Town were hourly, and the main road routes to Halifax, Todmorded, Burnley and Rochdale were mainly Olympians.
Back in 2019 I met one of the main Dalesbus organisors on the 821 to Scar House, and he said that at the time funding was becoming very difficult, and even Metro were saying they could not afford to print the timetables in the future. So it was a very nice surprise to see so many routes running this year (especially the 881 through the Through of Bowland), as well as reading in your excellent report that Metro have actually produced timetables again this year.
The Buttertubs are lime stone pot holes in what’s know as kharst (the only word English has borrowed from Croatian?).I see from the time tables that Little White Bus do a service across it but you have to book it.i’d guess it comes from Richmond?When I was a kid United did 2 a day over it Gayle to Richmond but I think that one might have continued to Darlington on college days only?Got me thinking how many North Pennine passes are crossed,ie/a full traverse not just up the dale, by regular non seasonal services or have been.Wensleydale is,Swaledale isn’t, Teesdale isn’t,Weardale isn’t,Tynedale is, South Tynedale isn’t.
The Northern Dalesman services still run over Buttertubs Pass … the Arriva 831 from Middlesbrough and Richmond to Hawes and Kirkby Lonsdale, and the KLCH 830 from Preston, Ingleton and Hawes to Richmond and Bedale. But yes, if you want to travel outside those Summer Sunday services, Little White Bus will run there as part of their demand responsive service (Monday to Saturday) from either the Hawes or Swaledale side with connections to Richmond on the 30: https://www.littlewhitebus.co.uk/buttertubs-transfers/
There is some interesting history with the Dalesbus network over the last 12 years or so. One thing that has been very noticeable this year is the complete disappearance of Arriva Yorkshire (Arriva North East are still running the Northern Dalesman from Middlesbrough), when they have been the mainstay of the network for most of that time, and have at some point or other run all of the routes that can sensibly be run from a Yorkshire base (Wakefield, Dewsbury or Selby) including Yorkshire Dalesman, Fountains Flyer, Nidderdale Rambler, Eastern Dalesman, Cravenlink and Saturday 74 as well as the year-round 874 – in summer 2019 (and I think under plans for 2020) they had 5 buses running every Sunday but this year they don’t have a single one, with Transdev, First and Pullman taking up the slack.
In 2014, the Leeds—Hawes route (then run as 800) was run by Yorkshire Tiger using double-deckers, but then reverted to Arriva and single-deckers the following year. But from 2016 onwards, the outward journey ran on the route avoiding Bolton Abbey but the return came back through Bolton Abbey, which always seemed like an odd plan, although I think it was mostly to keep Bolton Abbey and Burnsall passengers from clogging up the Hawes bus as they only ran a few minutes apart, but there was a bigger gap between them on the way back.
In 2019, the 822 from York to Grassington (which used a double decker) was extended up to Hawes as a second 875, and it’s great to see that the original 875 has now followed suit! I had a great trip last weekend, although without the same good weather that you had … First 822/875 from York up to Hawes (not such a nice, shiny bus as you had though), then 856 to Leyburn and 825 back to York. No problems with the 856, there were about half a dozen passengers, but I think you must have been unlucky to catch it with a minibus because I’ve only ever seen it running with a Solo, Streetlite or Enviro 200. The 825 was like a chauffeur-driven tour, as I was the only passenger on the bus for the whole journey 😥, hopefully with the sun out this weekend and a bit more time to spread the word about the route (as it is new for York) they will have had some more people on board.
The most disappointing thing about the 822/875 is that if you want to Hawes and then go back the same way, you only have just over an hour in Hawes. (Coming back via Leyburn gave me an extra 20 minutes there, but that still isn’t really long enough to go to either the Creamery or the Dales Museum if you want to eat as well!). Which is a common problem with the longer Dalesbus routes … you just don’t get long enough at the end of the line to make a worthwhile day of it, it becomes a day out just to ride the buses rather than to do much when you get there. I would love to use it when I go walking, but there are limited opportunities for where you can get in a decent length walk and still catch the bus back to York. And with several of the routes being a once-a-day-only affair, there’s no chance to hop-off at an interesting looking place, have a mooch, and then hop-on another bus to continue the journey. And opportunities for circular routes are consequently limited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Dalesbus and I know that all the people involved do a fantastic job, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting it to be even better!
Thanks very much for these very interesting additional comments.
The other Yorkshire National Park,the North Yorkshire Moors (the Peak District National Park is partly in the south of Yorkshire but is mainly a Midlands National Park)had an extensive network of Sunday and Bank Holiday although some ran on a Saturday too branded Moorsbus.However from it’s initial inception it’s been scaled back and I don’t know if it’s still operating.the buses didn’t just run in the park but from surrounding towns providing connections from example the M10 ran from Hartlepool and Billingham to Guisborough and connected with buses onto the Moors but it was withdraw after only a year.off the other two northern national parks,the Lake District is mainly just served by service buses some seasonal.as far as I’m aware the Northumberland National Park only has the Hadrian’s Wall bus Hexham to Carlisle which had originally run to Newcastle and the Kielder bus which starts in Gateshead and only runs on a Sunday,or did.although Kielder itself is outside of the national park the bus passes through to get there.It is very challenging getting to Kielder otherwise as the Hexham bus only runs Friday and Saturday.the only other option I’ve seen, although not done it,is bus to Bryness,once a day, and walk around 15km through the forest!
Moorsbus is coming back soon, running Saturdays and Sundays throughout July, August and September, I think, although the routes are slightly different on Saturdays and Sundays. Buses running in from York via Easingwold, York via Malton, Stockton, Darlington and Saltburn, run by Reliance, Pullman and Arriva NE. There is also the Moors Explorer from Hull, run by East Yorkshire, but that only runs on this weekend just gone and then during the school summer holidays, so not the full season, which has been the same for a few years.
On the Moors, buses will be running to all the usual places: Helmsley, Sutton Bank, Coxwold, Ampleforth, Thirsk, Rievaulx, Bilsdale, Stokesley, Great Ayton, Guisborough, Castleton, Danby, Blakey Ridge, Hutton le Hole, Kirkbymoorside, Pickering, Rosedale, Thornton le Dale and Dalby Forest.
It isn’t as comprehensive a service as in its heyday about 10 years ago, but in the face of funding cuts they do a good job of connecting the key destinations.
I went on the 831 from Darlington to Keld today, then walked over to Hawes and took it back again – amazing route, the section over buttertubs was incredible. Shame to see there were only about 5 of us who took the bus past Richmond beyond the routes of normal buses, and I think 3 of them knee the driver. However, they were all very friendly – pointing out some of the local points of interest that you wouldn’t notice if you’re just in your own car all alone.
Now I just wish that train operators could stop pretending that nothing happens on a Sunday morning so they don’t need to run trains then, as someone who mainly does day trips it rules out all of these routes besides for on bank holidays as I can only reach Leeds for about 11am
Transport For London
TfL has just been given another £1.08B to cover the period till the end of the year. So far it has received over £4B in additional government funding whilst the rest of England just get the crumbs
If you ask you will get a refund on your Premier Inn stay.
Sounds like a lovely day out! On the subject of bus stops, in my area of North Yorkshire, they look rather neglected too. Thankfully the people at DalesBus and the fantastic Lancaster Bus Users’ Group have convinced the council to let them update the timetables, which they always do.
Dalesbus is a great network – indeed I was the driver of the 831 photographed in Hawes on Sunday. If car drivers only realised how much more they could see from the bus
Thanks for this great blog. The 901 is even better southbound, as you get the great climb up after Ripponden before descending into Huddersfield
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