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Plans for New Skipton Bus Station

Saturday 06 October 2007

The reality of a new bus station for Skipton has moved a step closer with the publication of draft plans for the scheme by North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) and Craven District Council. Consultation undertaken as part of the Skipton Traffic Management Strategy confirmed that people wanted the bus station to stay at its current site at Waller Hill. The plans which have now been produced show a completely new layout for the area which combines an improved bus station with car parking and a taxi rank.

Key features of the new layout are:

  • Seven bus stands, including provision for community transport vehicles and National Express services.
  • Each bus stand provides easy access to buses from raised bus boarder kerbs.
  • Covered waiting facilities with seating.
  • New toilet facilities.
  • Improved CCTV
  • Taxi rank for 13 vehicles
  • Cycle stands
  • Motor cycle parking
Members of the public are invited to view the plans at an open day from 2-7pm at Contact Craven reception in Skipton Town Hall on Wednesday 10th October where representatives from NYCC and Craven District Council will be on hand to answer questions.

Details of the proposals are also available online, with information on how you can comment on the proposals.


Autumn DalesBus Services

Sunday 30 September 2007

    
Whilst many of the seasonal summer bus services in the Yorkshire Dales finished at the end of September, most bus services in the area continue unchanged into the winter months. For a list of the main all-year bus routes click here.
Several of the summer seasonal bus services even operate during October:
DalesBus 805 from West Yorkshire to Hawes will once again be running every Sunday into the Winter months, thanks to financial support from the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority. The Winter bus will run at the same times as the summer bus, starting in Wakefield at 0845, then running via Leeds (0915), Otley (0948) and Ilkley (1005) before heading up Wharfedale into the heart of the Dales. It returns home from Hawes at 1530 and from Grassington at 1655.  The Winter timetable applies on Sundays from 7th October.
If you live in the Keighley or Skipton area you can also join DalesBus 805 by catching a connecting bus on service 66A. This service from Keighley and Skipton to Grassington continues to run hourly throughout the day on Sundays, leaving Keighley at 0945 and every hour until 1545, returning from Grassington at 1055 and hourly until 1655.
The Cravenlink service between Ilkley, Bolton Abbey, Embsay and Skipton will continue running to the same timetable every Sunday until at least 2nd December 2007. This service has proved very popular and is already carrying on average of over 70 passengers each day, allowing the operating season to be extended for a few more weeks than originally planned. The future of the service beyond 2nd December is however dependent on local authority funding being made available.
The Sunday bus services in Nidderdale (route 24 from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge) and Wensleydale (routes 156/157 from Northallerton and Bedale to Leyburn and Hawes) are now well-established year-round routes so will continue running throughout the Winter.
Service X80 from Preston and Clitheroe to Skipton will continue to operate on Sundays throughout the Winter months for the first time this year, connecting with service 66A at Skipton. From 7th October a new timetable will start on services 280/X80, and the service will be operated daily by Lancashire United.

Cravenlink Bus Service Extended

Sunday 30 September 2007

    The Cravenlink bus service between Skipton, Embsay, Bolton Abbey, Addingham and Ilkley has been extended to continue running every Sunday until at least 2nd December 2007.

The trial service was originally planned to finish in early November, but it has proved so popular with an average of over 70 passengers using the bus each day that the funding has stretched to allow the service to continue longer. The service is operated on behalf of the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company by Jackson's of Silsden, with financial support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund.

The Cravenlink bus service not only provides useful connections between Ilkley, Addingham and Skipton, it is also very useful for providing access to the various attractions along the route, including Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway and Bolton Abbey. Click here to see the Cravenlink timetable.

A programme of Sharing the Dales Guided Walks has been organised linked to the new service, aimed at people who do not generally visit the National Park, especially people without access to their own car.  The walks are all free, and vary in length between around three and seven miles. Click here for details of the walks programme.

The organisers of the Cravenlink service are hopeful that the service will become a permanent facility, but the future of the service beyond 2nd December is currently dependent on obtaining financial support from the local authorities.

Autumn and Winter Guided Walks

Sunday 30 September 2007

A varied programme of free guided walks, all accessible by public transport, is on offer in the Yorkshire Dales every Sunday during the Autumn and Winter months.

The walks are organised by Dalesbus Ramblers, and are designed to have easy connections with bus services 66A (from Keighley and Skipton), 805 (from Wakefield, Leeds, Otley, Ilkley and Grassington) and 24 (from Harrogate). The walks vary in length from 3.5 to 14 miles, and some walks are graded as easy and suitable for newcomers to country walking whilst others are more strenuous and suitable for experienced walkers.

Full details of the walks are available online at www.dalesbusramblers.org.uk


More Engineering Works on Settle-Carlisle Line

Sunday 09 September 2007

Engineering work is scheduled on the Settle-Carlisle railway line every weekend until 8th December 2007. The work will take place at different locations, so the timetable will vary from week to week. In addition, weekend engineering works are also taking place at various locations between Leeds and Skipton on the Airedale line.
During the closures rail services operate as far as possible, with coach replacement services between stations where the line is closed.
If you have any queries regarding engineering work timetables, visit www.settle-carlisle.co.uk, contact Northern's Customer Relations on 0845 0000 125 or email customer.relations@northernrail.org.

Rural bus put on endangered species list

Monday 01 October 2007

        
The rural bus will become an endangered species unless action is taken now by central and local governments, Campaign for Better Transport revealed today with the publication of a report and case studies on rural buses.
The case studies reveal the hidden problem of rural bus cuts and the devastating impact the cuts have on people and communities: elderly villagers left isolated, schoolchildren left without a school bus, hospital visitors and workers left without a public transport option and tourists inconvenienced by rerouted buses.
The report shows how the Government can grab the opportunity to revive and strengthen the fragile and endangered rural bus – by giving local authorities more powers over buses, creating a more stable and secure funding regime and establishing a bus passenger watchdog. 
Cat Hobbs, the group’s public transport campaigner, says “If the Government doesn’t act now, the countryside will become a ghetto for the rich, completely inaccessible for those without cars. Through its local transport bill, the Government is focusing on improving congestion and buses in cities, but it can’t afford to ignore buses in rural areas. Good rural buses need to be an alternative for people with cars as well as a lifeline for those without.”

Rail Service News

Britain joins Europe's high-speed rail network and brings the Dales 20 minutes closer to Paris

Tuesday 04 September 2007

   
Eurostar, the high-speed train operator that links the UK with the Continent, will today (Tuesday 4 September) run its inaugural train over Britain’s new 186mph high-speed line, arriving into the wonderfully restored St Pancras International, Eurostar’s new London terminal. 
The train from Gare du Nord station in Paris, due to depart mid-morning, is aiming to set a new record journey time, covering the 306 mile (492 km) distance to St Pancras International in less than 2 hrs and 15 minutes, the new scheduled time from November, and cutting more than 20 minutes off the current timetable of 2 hours 35 minutes between Paris and Waterloo.
Today’s train will travel the full length of High Speed 1, the new line that connects Britain to Europe’s fast-expanding high-speed rail network and that will enable seamless, city centre-to-city centre journeys that are already familiar to millions of continental Europeans.
High Speed 1 has been built on time and within budget and is the link bringing Paris and London - two of the world’s leading cities - even closer together. The excellent connections between domestic and Eurostar services at St Pancras International will also enable travellers from towns and cities across Britain to reach mainland Europe quickly and easily. Faster journeys between the UK and the continent will help to boost business and tourism in London and in the regions – aiding the economy and adding to the UK’s competitive advantage.
The UK’s first high-speed line runs for 68 miles (109 km) from the Channel Tunnel near Folkestone to St Pancras International in central London. It passes through Ashford International and Eurostar’s new station at Ebbsfleet International in Kent, before crossing under the River Thames and approaching the capital in tunnels under east London. Eurostar trains will travel at a speed of 186 mph (300km/h) – 50% faster than even Britain’s fastest domestic rail services.
Richard Brown, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “Today marks Britain’s entry into the European high-speed rail club. We can now run trains at high speed all the way from the Channel Tunnel to London, making journeys between cities quicker, more convenient - and far greener than flying.
“Eurostar will soon have two new stations, opening up European rail travel to millions more people across Britain. St Pancras International has numerous rail connections to towns and cities north and south of the capital, while Ebbsfleet International - just off junction 2 of the M25 and close to Bluewater shopping centre in Kent - is conveniently located for 10 million people across southern England.”
Eurostar will launch services from St Pancras International on 14 November this year – in 71 days’ time - having run the final trains from Waterloo the previous evening (13 November). The High Speed 1 timetable will for the first time enable UK business travellers to reach the centres of Paris and Brussels before 9am, ready for a full day’s work. Leisure passengers will benefit from later evening departures, allowing them longer for their trips.
Travelling by Eurostar will enable passengers to ‘tread lightly’ on the environment – also the name of Eurostar’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25% per passenger journey by 2012. From 14 November, Eurostar will offset CO2 emissions that it cannot eliminate at its own expense, making it the first train company in the world to offer ‘carbon neutral’ journeys to all its customers. Independent research has shown that going by Eurostar generates ten times less CO2 than flying, demonstrating that the train is far greener than the plane. 

Dales Rail Operator Wins Public Transport Operator of the Year Award

Wednesday 01 August 2007

Northern Rail has been voted public transport operator of the year in the National Transport Awards 2007.

The judges praised the company, which runs local and regional trains across the north of England, for its success in attracting 20% more passengers since it started in 2004.

Northern Rail, together with West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive,

Yorkshire Forward and other partners, also won the transport team of the year award for a joint £20m project to introduce extra trains to meet growing demand in Yorkshire.

Heidi Mottram, Managing Director, Northern Rail, said: "These awards are fantastic recognition of the hard work of everyone at Northern Rail and our partners in the two and a half years since we started operating. I would also like to thank passengers for their support for Northern Rail, particularly during the recent severe weather."

The judges chose Northern Rail as public transport operator of the year in front of two other train operators and two bus companies.

They said: "The Northern Rail joint venture of Serco and NedRailways successfully combined two rail franchises and has presided over rising customer satisfaction.

"The company joined forces with local councils to improve and refurbish stations in the area, helping to achieve big increases in passenger numbers."

Professor David Begg, chair of the judging panel, said: "Northern Rail is the best rail operator in the country this year.

"It has achieved a substantial growth in the number of passengers travelling on its trains."

Northern Rail received the awards at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 17th July.


New Rail Link to the Dales

Thursday 18 January 2007

 A new train operator will provide new links to the Yorkshire Dales with a daily service from London and Sunderland to York and Northallerton from September 2007.

Grand Central aims to deliver a high quality, affordable and accessible train service to communities across the North of England who are remote from direct services to London. Grand Central’s timetabled service from Sunderland to London, now expected to commence in September 2007, will run as follows:

 Mon – Sat Sunday
 A      
Sunderland0646 1230 1730  0910 1342 1842
Hartlepool0706 1253 1755  0934 1406 1906
Eaglescliffe0726 1315 1814  0955 1432 1925
Northallerton0747 1336 1835  1023 1454 1946
Thirsk0756 1345 1844  1032 1503 1955
York arrive0818 1407 1903  1048 1526 2011
York depart0822 1410 1906 105015312015
Kings Cross1031 1605 2108 130717422232
   B    
Kings Cross080411271650 085313581853
York arrive100613191844 111416222105
York depart101413221847 111716292108
Thirsk102913371903 113317002125
Northallerton103813461915 114617152136
Eaglescliffe105714031933 120217332153
Hartlepool111614231955 122118062212
Sunderland115014502035 125218412238
A – The Zephyr B – The 21st Century Limited

These services will provide many new journey opportunities for communities along the routes, as well as providing improved access for visitors to the Dales. There are regular buses along Wensleydale seven days a week from Northallerton Station.

Further details are available on Grand Central Railway's website.


National Express awarded contract for growth on InterCity East Coast

Tuesday 14 August 2007

The Department for Transport has announced that NXEC Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of National Express Group, has been awarded the contract to operate services on the InterCity East Coast rail franchise.

The franchise comprises of services connecting London with Scotland via Peterborough and the north of England.  It will start on 09 December 2007 until 31st March 2015, with the last 17 months conditional on set performance levels being reached.

£1.4bn (NPV) will be paid over the life of the franchise in premium as a contribution to DfT’s rail budget. 

The contract will deliver:

  • The current (May 2007) timetable, which includes Leeds half-hourly services, until 2010.  From December 2010, there is provision for up to 25 extra train services -  around 14,000 seats - each weekday.  Up to 40 more carriages will be brought into use to deliver increased capacity
  • Included within this, a new London - Lincoln service will operate at 2 hourly intervals.  A new London - York service will also operate at 2 hourly intervals and will call at intermediate stations 
  • Faster journeys: London - Leeds services in 2 hours, London - York in 1 hour 45 minutes, and more London - Edinburgh trains taking around 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Better performance, so that 9 out of 10 trains run on time. NXEC is committed to reducing its delay minutes by 29% by the end of the franchise
  • Environmental benefits, including a commitment to reduce fuel consumption per passenger kilometre by 28% over the franchise term, designate four ‘green stations’ and £400, 000 invested in reducing energy use at station and depots
  • A simpler website that will highlight the cheapest tickets available and the expected seat availability on each train.  Smartcards introduced by 2010
  • £7.4m to upgrade stations. Up to 2000 more car parking spaces to be provided by the end of the franchise with half of these expected within the first 2 years 
  • On board trains, Wi-Fi will be free in Standard Class and full dining services reatined on 87 weekday trains

Rail Minister Tom Harris said:

"We want to grow and develop our rail network.  In our White Paper we set out plans to deliver increased capacity, better performance and improved connections between key towns and cities. Franchise awards are already delivering these benefits.

“Passengers travelling on the East Coast Main Line will see similar enhancements. There is provision in this contract for extra services and fewer delays.  NXEC will also invest in stations and on-board services.”

Overall, regulated and unregulated fares together are likely to rise by RPI + 1.6% each year throughout the course of the franchise.

The Government will continue to limit annual rises of regulated fares - which include season tickets and saver fares - in line with national policy, which is currently RPI+1%.

As with all franchises, unregulated fares will be the responsibility of the operator. NXEC have indicated that they may wish to raise unregulated fares by an average of 2.1% above inflation each year over the course of the franchise.


Colne-Skipton Charter Train "Missing Link 2" runs on Sunday October 28

Monday 01 October 2007

              
SELRAP – the Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership – is running a charter train from Colne to Skipton on Sunday October 28 to highlight its campaign that the 11.5 mile “Missing Link” between the two towns should be restored as part of the national rail network. Tickets are now on sale at branches of Althams Travel Agents, and if the previous SELRAP charter is anything to go by they will be in great demand.
The group organised its first Colne-Skipton charter train on April 1, and this was hugely successful with some 120 would-be passengers being turned away when tickets ran out.
To travel the 23-mile round trip, passengers on “Missing Link 2” will be travelling 150 miles and will reverse direction FIVE times, a sure indication of the urgent need for a direct rail link between the towns of East Lancashire and Skipton and the Aire Valley, according to press officer Steve Broadbent.
Outbound, the train leaves Colne at 9.58am and, after calling at intermediate stations and reversing at Blackburn and Hellifield, arrives at Skipton at 11.37am. Passengers will then have two and a half hours to enjoy the many delights of this famous and historic market town, before the train departs for Colne at 2.10pm.
This time a highly scenic, if circuitous, route back to Colne will be followed, via Leeds, Bradford, Hebden Bridge and Burnley, before arriving back at Colne at 4.16pm.
Tickets for this mammoth day out cost just £20 (Children £12) and are available ONLY from branches of Althams Travel Agents in Colne, Burnley, Nelson and Skipton, or by post from Althams in Burnley. Full details are on the following sheet.
“This will be a great day out for all the family”, says Steve Broadbent, “with lots to see on each leg of the journey and much to enjoy in Skipton. The SELRAP campaign goes from strength to strength, and this charter train again brings to everyone’s attention the need for a high-class, modern, rail link between East Lancashire and Yorkshire.”
The four-coach 300-seat diesel charter train is being funded solely by SELRAP, and profits from sales of tickets will be going to the group’s funds to help the campaign continue. The train will be chartered from and operated by Northern Rail, and SELRAP is very grateful to the company for the tremendous help given in making this trip possible.
More details will be issued in the next 2-3 weeks. Full details of SELRAP and its campaign, including the massive lists of MPs, MEPS, councils, local authorities and other bodies who support our aims, can be seen at


Walking News

Advice for dog owners in the Yorkshire Dales

Monday 13 August 2007

Advice for dog owners in the Yorkshire Dales
Dog owners planning walks in the Yorkshire Dales National Park during the August Bank Holiday week are being reminded to take extra care around cows and their calves.
The advice follows several reports of walkers being surrounded by cattle in different parts of the National Park.
Jon Avison, Head of Park Management with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “Everyone knows that cattle are very curious about dogs and will gather in a group and follow one, which can be an unnerving experience for the dog and its owner.
“Added to that is the fact that cows with young calves are – like almost any animal – naturally protective of their young so, when you put the two together, you have a potentially dangerous situation for walkers and their dogs.
“The advice is always to keep your dog on a lead and to avoid going near cattle if at all possible – and never walk between a cow and its calf.
“If they do start to follow you and get too close, let the dog go – it can run faster than you and the cattle will follow it.”

Walkers surveyed on Dales Way

Thursday 02 August 2007

 
Dales Volunteers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) will be helping the Dales Way Association to carry out the second part of the Association’s survey on the Dales Way this August.
They will be talking to walkers using the popular, long-distance route, which runs between Ilkley and Bowness, to find out what they think of it.
The first phase of the survey was carried out in June in Hubberholme and the final poll will be held in the Sedbergh area between 8 and 14 August.
Paul Wilkinson, the YDNPA’s Area Ranger for Cumbria, said: “We’re pleased to be helping the Dales Way Association with this survey. Hopefully our volunteers will hear from as many people as possible about what they like about the route, why they use it and what, if anything, they would like to see changed.
“The information gathered will help the Dales Way Association to build a picture of its use and popularity and, from that, we can try to estimate its value to and impact on the economies of the local communities in the National Park."
Association Chairman Colin Speakman said: “The final part of the survey will give us more evidence that we can use to justify the need for more investment in this very important tourist attraction in the National Park.”

A word in your ear about the Yorkshire Dales

Monday 08 October 2007

Visitors to the Yorkshire Dales can now enjoy their own personal guided walks to help them explore some of the National Park’s past.
Latest technology means they can download free MP3 audio trails as podcasts and print off maps so they can walk a route and listen while the features around them are explained as they go.
Last year the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) teamed up with Drystone Radio and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line to launch an audio trail around one of the most famous National Park attractions ­– the Ribblehead Viaduct.
The Authority funded the production of the trail while Drystone Radio staff gave their technical expertise and the Friends devised the route and contributed to the historical information about the building of the viaduct and the railway construction camps around it.
The trail – that can be downloaded from the Authority’s Out of Oblivion website at www.outofoblivion.org.uk – proved to be such a success that the YDNPA and Drystone went on to produce three more podcasts covering Malhamdale, Lower Wharfedale and Ribblesdale.
And a fourth, looking at Swaledale, becomes available on the website this week.
Karen Griffiths, the YDNPA’s Interpretation Officer, said: “People often walk in the National Park without realising the importance of what is all around them or under their feet – without understanding the thousands of years of history and archaeology.
“The audio trails are a great way of finding out more about different features ranging from ancient burial sites through to 18th century farmhouses – you have your own personal guide bringing history and archaeology alive.”
The trails are part of an Authority drive started last year to try to reduce the number of new interpretation panels – boards placed on site explaining the immediate surroundings – being installed in the National Park because of the visual impact they have on the environment.
As well as that, the trails mean the YDNPA can reduce the amount of paper it uses because it does not need to produce hundreds of leaflets to accompany the walks – visitors wanting to use them just print off what they need at home.

Other News

National Park Authority says thank you

Tuesday 04 September 2007

National Park Authority says thank you
Farmers and landowners have been given a big thank you for their help in the on-going development of a 52-mile section of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail through the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Gareth Evans, the YDNPA’s Pennine Bridleway Project Officer, said: “The farmers and landowners have played a vital role in enabling us to open up the trail through the National Park.
“We would not be able to do it without their involvement and co-operation and we are very grateful for their continued support.”
Work on the route has ranged from improving some existing stretches of public rights of way to creating new ones.
Gareth and his team are working towards a target of opening 88 per cent of the stretch through the National Park by next April and all of it by 2009.
Steve Macare, a YDNPA Member and chair of the Pennine Bridleway Steering Group, said: “The development of the National Trail has proved an exciting and challenging project that has involved a wide range of issues.
“More than 70 per cent of the route is now available for use to National Trail standard and we are very pleased with the progress being made.
“We would like to thank the YDNPA, Natural England and other partners for the success so far and we are very grateful to the landowners, farmers and parish councils involved in the project for their help and co-operation.”
Background
The Pennine Bridleway is a new National Trail in the north of England, being planned and designed specifically for horse riders, off-road cyclists and walkers to enjoy. It will eventually run from the High Peak Trail in Derbyshire to Byrness, Northumberland, a distance of 560km (350 miles) and is due to be opened as funding allows.
Its creation has been made possible to date mainly through financial support from Natural England and a Sport England award of £1.8 million. 
The section through the National Park is being funded by Natural England, with support from the YDNPA and North Yorkshire County Council, with additional funding from Yorkshire Forward.
The first section of the Trail in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – the Settle Loop – was opened in August 2005 and has already proved to be hit with users.
The 10-mile (16km) circuit starts and finishes in Settle and stretches east towards Malham. It was created to provide a day trip excursion for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers wanting to spend time exploring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales rather than just passing through on their way up or down the Trail. 
In 1986, Mary Towneley rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland to highlight the state of the country’s bridleways and support the need for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail. A circular route, called the Mary Towneley Loop, includes Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and forms part of the 130 miles of the route already open to the public. 
Anyone wanting more information about the Pennine Bridleway National Trail can visit its website at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway.
Natural England works for people, places and nature to conserve and enhance biodiversity, landscapes and wildlife in rural, urban, coastal and marine areas.
It conserves and enhances the natural environment for its intrinsic value, the wellbeing and enjoyment of people, and the economic prosperity it brings. It increases opportunities to make the natural environment an enriching part of people's everyday lives, and improves its long term security by contributing to the sustainable management of our natural resources.

Play England Promotes better mobility, transport and travel for children and young people

Monday 20 August 2007

   
Places to Go is a National Children’s Bureau and Play England project aimed at changing policy and practice so that children and young people can have more opportunities to enjoy their local streets and neighbourhoods, and to have better access to travel and transport.
Travelling is an integral part of daily life for children, young people and their families, allowing them to access learning, work, play and childcare facilities, health, shops, social and cultural activities. Travelling around is an intrinsically enjoyable activity for many children and young people. It provides them with the opportunity to explore their local environment, independently or with others, through outdoor play or just ‘hanging out’.
Children and young people are as such, significant stakeholders in the public realm, where they play or meet their peers, and as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. Too often however, their needs and views are not reflected in local transport and land use planning decisions, and barriers to accessing transport and travel, such as safety, cost and security, availability and accessibility remain.
More needs to be done to ensure children and young people can safely get to the services and activities that provide quality of life and support the development of sustainable, prosperous communities. Recent government initiatives such as the Manual for Streets are a positive step in creating child friendly streets – but there remains a long way to go.
Our vision
Our vision is for children and young people to be widely regarded as respected and rightful stakeholders of public space, with travelling and transport needs that are met with appropriate investment and supportive policy delivery at the local, regional and national levels.
We call for a wide uptake of the Delft Manifesto on a Child Friendly Urban Environment, which states that a child friendly city is a city friendly to all.
We support Sustrans’ goal for a safe route for every child to school – and expand that to include all journeys children and young people wish and need to undertake: a safe route for every route.
Our call for action
The National Children’s Bureau and Play England call for the following;
  • More child friendly, physically and socially safe, streets and public space
  • Increased participation of children and young people in local transport and planning decisions, resulting in changes in policy and investment levels
  • Greater investment in safe local streets in which children can cycle and walk without fear of traffic
  • Greater investment and policy development of sustainable transport that benefits children and young people’s needs and wishes.
  • Greater access to public transport and affordability of public transport for young people.
Delivering these actions will contribute substantially to the Every Child Matters’ outcomes, the government’s cross cutting policy agenda for improving children’s lives. For example:
Being healthy – active travel and outdoor play provide significant opportunities for children and young people to meet Department of Health’s physical activity and obesity prevention PSA targets5.
Staying safe – through play and independent travel children and young people learn the skills and confidence to help them stay safe as they grow-up. The main barrier to outdoor play and independent local travel is a deep seated and justified fear of traffic.
Enjoying and achieving – being free to play outdoors, move around the local neighbourhood and travel to school and other activities independently is essential for an enjoyable childhood. Securing young people’s access to ‘positive activities’, and preparing and publishing a sustainable school travel strategy, are new duties placed on local authorities by the Education and Inspections Act 2006. Without the ability to travel independently, inequality of access will remain for many.
These actions will also contribute to the full implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular:
  • Article 12: the child’s right to express his views feely in all matters affecting him
  • Article 15: the rights of the child to freedom of association and of peaceful assembly
  • Article 24: the child’s right to enjoying the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment and rehabilitation
  • Article 28: the child’s right to education
  • Article 31: the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.
What we will do
Through the Places to Go project, NCB and Play England will:
  • Engage with all levels of government to advocate greater effective participation of children and young people in local transport and planning decision making
  • Launch a national campaign called Can we get there? aimed at capturing children and young people’s views on their travel and transport needs, shout about what needs to change and provide advice on the steps to achieve it 
  • Collate and promote good practice case studies that show what can be achieved when relevant policy areas – such as children’s services, local planning and transport – are joined up, and children and young people’s travel and transport needs are met with sufficient investment.
We would like to work with those in national, regional and local government, non-government organisations, charities, think tanks and children and young people’s organisations to promote our call and campaign.
More information
For further information on this project or to discuss how we can work in partnership with your organisation, please contact Rhian Barnes on 0131 539 8120 or by email.
Rhian Barnes is on secondment to Play England from Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity.

Revised Highway Code unveiled

Monday 01 October 2007

    

The first revised Highway Code in eight years has today been unveiled by Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick. The updated Code offers the latest road safety rules and advice, as well as promoting greater courtesy and understanding among all road users, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

A new Safety Code for Novice Drivers, to help motorists better navigate their first few months behind the wheel, has also been added. It offers practical advice like "If you are driving with passengers, you are responsible for their safety. Don't let them distract you or encourage you to take risks" and "Never show off or try to compete with other drivers, particularly if they are driving badly".

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said:

"The Official Highway Code is for life, not just for passing your driving test. It is a crucial tool for all road users - car drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians alike - and applies to every stage of your life. Road safety is a responsibility we all share and everyone should have a copy of the Code to keep their knowledge up-to-date.

"However, we know that the first few months after passing your driving test can be a risky time. This is reflected in the latest Code which offers practical safety advice and reminders of the rules new drivers must abide by."

The Code has also been updated to include new legislation that has been introduced on vehicle emissions and smoking in vehicles that are work places, as well as the provision of new stopping/directing powers to VOSA and Highways Agency Traffic Officers. Alongside this, it references new initiatives like Quiet Lanes, High-occupancy Vehicle Lanes, Home Zones and Active Traffic Management schemes that people should be aware of, as well as increasing, re-writing or enhancing existing advice to promote greater co-operation between road users and further promote safety.

The Code is substantially updated every 8-10 years. The last significant revision was in 1999.

1. The Highway Code celebrated its 75th birthday in 2006. When it was first launched in 1931 - at the cost of one old penny - there were just 2.3 million motor vehicles in Great Britain, yet over 7,000 people were killed in road accidents each year.

2. It is the official guide to using the roads safely and legally. It has contributed enormously to road safety and reliable road transport. However, every day, on average around nine people are killed and around 80 are seriously injured in road collisions. So it is as important as ever that all road users, including drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians, should update their knowledge of The Highway Code.

3. Much of the advice in The Highway Code has changed and evolved over time by necessity. The basic advice in a Highway Code of 30 years ago may not be applicable today, given increased traffic volumes; larger, faster vehicles; more complex road layouts; updated/new road signage and markings; and many other factors.

4. All road users have a responsibility to ensure their knowledge is updated, in order to adjust their awareness and actions appropriately, for the benefit of others and for their own safety.

5. The new Code was drawn up following a public consultation which resulted in 26,963 comments being received, all of which were considered and evaluated by the relevant groups within DfT and DSA before the final wording was decided.

6. The revised Code has increased in size by approximately 50%. It includes 29 more rules than previously and many other rules have been increased, rewritten or enhanced to make things much clearer for all road users on how they should act or react in a variety of situations.

7. The Official Highway Code is published by The Stationery Office Ltd (TSO) and is priced at £2.50. Visit http://www.tsoshop.co.uk/highwaycode or call 0870 600 5522. Copies are also available from all good High Street and online bookstores The Code is also available for free at http://www.direct.gov.uk/highwaycode.

8. For the first time TSO are publishing The Official Highway Code on CD-ROM. The new, interactive version, launching in November 2007, will feature a range of interactive quizzes and games to test knowledge and understanding of the rules of the road.

Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk


Archive News

For details of archive news stories click Archive News

Tuesday 24 October 2006

        .

National Express Group awarded InterCity East Coast Franchise

Friday 21 September 2007

National Express Group PLC (“the Group”), a leading international passenger transport company and the UK’s best performing train operator, has today been awarded the franchise agreement by the Department for Transport (“DfT”) to operate the new InterCity East Coast franchise.

The franchise will commence on 9 December 2007 and will run until 31 March 2015 with the last seventeen months being dependent on meeting set performance targets.  The franchise is expected to generate total annual revenue of £600 million in its first full year and £1.4 billion (net present value) over the life of the franchise in premium payments to the DfT.

National Express Group Chief Executive, Richard Bowker said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have won the UK’s premier intercity railway.  We have won with a bid which is ambitious, deliverable and structured to generate shareholder value.

“Our combined strengths of industry leading operational performance and excellent customer service give us confidence that we will be able to grow the business and increase the number of passengers by providing a service that is value for money and aimed at making travel simpler.

“We have an exciting package of innovation and investment aimed at making these services attractive to many more people.  We will offer improved reliability, more trains and seats, easier ways to purchase tickets and an updated catering offer.  Our plans have been developed through close consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.  We look forward to working with them to deliver a truly world class railway.”

The new franchise, which is the arterial North-South rail route linking London with Scotland via Peterborough, Leeds, Doncaster, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness, will be called National Express East Coast.


Catch the Peak Season DalesBuses while you can!

Sunday 12 August 2007

    Most bus services in the Yorkshire Dales now run to similar timetables all year round, but a few services, particularly some of those running on Sundays and Bank Holidays only operate during the summer months. With autumn not far away, a few of these services have reached the end of their operating seasons for 2007:
All other Sunday buses continue running to their current timetables until at least the end of September, click here for details.

More reasons to visit the Yorkshire Dales National Park

Tuesday 24 April 2007

     A new campaign has been launched to encourage visitors to use extra public transport facilities when they come to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The new travel opportunities between centres of population and the National Park include a sustainable, new local bus service called Cravenlink and will tie in with a special programme of easy, guided walks and visits called ‘Sharing the Dales’.
The events – which will run in different parts of the National Park from now to early November – are specially designed to welcome and encourage visitors, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, who may not be regular users of the National Park to enjoy some of its special qualities, as well as the health-giving benefits of a day in the countryside. 
All the walks – which vary from a wild herbs trail to a strenuous climb – and most of the events will be free, although, in some cases like an afternoon at a farm and a steam train trip, a charge will be payable.  
Cravenlink and Sharing the Dales have been developed by the Yorkshire Dales Society (YDS) in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group with support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund, which is administered by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Keighley and Ilkley MP Ann Cryer led the first walk at Bolton Abbey and was joined by members of the three organisations and by representatives from the national Mosaic Partnership, a national project designed to encourage members of minority ethnic communities to experience National Parks.
Mrs Cryer, who travelled from her home in Shipley by train and the new Cravenlink bus, said: “It is vital for the health and well-being of people in our towns and cities that  good, affordable weekend public transport is available to enable city dwellers to reach the National Park without a car.
“Cars are now a major source of pollution and congestion in the Yorkshire Dales.  We must ensure alternative ways of reaching the Dales are made available and that people are encouraged to use them.”
Sunday’s event also saw the official launch of the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company, a not-for-profit company and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Yorkshire Dales Society, recently established in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group.
Colin Speakman, YDS secretary, said: “It has the expressed aim of ensuring increased access by public transport to the Yorkshire Dales for local communities and visitors, working with local authorities, operators, private business and voluntary bodies to develop and market new opportunities for more sustainable forms of travel into the Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland. “
The Cravenlink 784/884 bus service connects with regular bus and train services to and from West Yorkshire at Ilkley and Skipton bus and train stations, providing easy access into Wharfedale. It runs to the popular villages of Embsay and Bolton Abbey, making it easy to get into the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Starting on 20 May the occasional Dales Experience Bus 814 from Huddersfield, Bradford, Ilkley and Skipton will run direct to the picturesque Dales village of Malham.
Walks and events will take place every Sunday and Bank Holiday until early November, and full details of the programme and the new Cravenlink bus service can be obtained from the Yorkshire Dales Society, The Town Hall, Cheapside, Settle, BSD24 9EJ, by phoning 01929 825600 or by visiting www.dalesbus.org/cravenlink.

GNER Best in Europe for Cyclists

Wednesday 20 June 2007

    

GNER is the best long-distance train operator in Europe for cyclists, according to a new report.

The East Coast operator beat Swiss Railways, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, France’s TGV service and other UK operators in a study of 32 European train operators by the European Cyclists’ Federation.

GNER scored the top mark in all four areas examined by the study:

· Availability of cycle spaces on long-distance services
· Ticket and reservation systems
· Sales channels – ease of buying a ticket at stations, online and at ticket machines
· Website information

The study said that: “GNER has achieved the best results….GNER is the most bicycle friendly long-distance railway.”

Michelle Drage, GNER Commercial Director, said: “This is a fantastic public recognition of our hard work in making it easy for cyclists to travel on GNER. 

“There are bike racks at every GNER station and provision has increased in recent years. Passengers can also take their bikes on our trains free of charge provided they book a space before departure.”

In 2005 GNER received a national award for its website, which since August 2005 has included a dedicated section for cyclists.

The section includes information about taking cycles on trains and cycle parking and includes an innovative cycle reservation form. The site also has a feedback link that encourages groups or individuals to submit comments.

GNER picked up its award in the Most Innovative Approach to Cycle-Rail Integration category at the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) National Cycle-Rail Awards.

In 2004 GNER won a national award (Connections, sponsored by the Strategic Rail Award) for its facilities for cycle users at York Station.


Dales Experience Bus links Huddersfield and Bradford with the Dales

Sunday 13 May 2007

The Dales Experience bus service will be running from Huddersfield and Bradford again during 2007, following a successful launch last year.

The bus provides a link to Malham amidst the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales, running one Sunday each month from May until October. The first outing for the new season is on Sunday May 20th.

The bus runs from Huddersfield, Brighouse, Bradford and Shipley to Ilkley, Skipton and Malham, leaving Huddersfield Bus Station at 0835 and returning from Malham at 1645. Malham is one of the most popular villages in the Yorkshire Dales, with a National Park Centre to help you find out more about the area. There is a stream running through the village, and many walks start from there, including to the spectacular Cove, Janet's Foss and Gordale Scar.

A Dales Rover ticket valid all the way from Huddersfield to Malham is just £7, or £14 for a family ticket. There’s no need to book in advance, tickets are available from the driver. At Ilkley connections are available with Dalesbus 805, providing connections to Bolton Abbey, Burnsall, Grassington, Kettlewell, Aysgarth and Hawes.

The first bus on May 20th also offers the opportunity to join a free “Sharing the Dales” guided walk from Gargrave to Malham along the Pennine Way. This 6.5 mile walk offers great views of Malham Cove – for further details call walk leader Duncan Ward on 0113 2645920.

For a shorter walk you can catch the Dalesbus 805 connection to Grassington and join National Park Guide Tony Vittery for a 3.5 mile free guided walk beside the River Wharfe to Grass Wood – for further details call Grassington National Park Centre on 01756 751690.

The Dales Experience Bus also provides an ideal way to visit the RSPB’s peregrine viewpoint at Malham Cove, which is open daily until 5th August. Last year tens of thousands of people enjoyed the sight of the peregrines hunting and catching their prey mid-air with stunning displays of aerobatics. Information Assistants are on hand to help visitors see the peregrines and other birds. The project is part of the RSPB’s Aren’t Birds Brilliant! programme of events, which make rare and spectacular birds accessible for everyone to see.  As well as the peregrines, visitors to Malham can expect to see green woodpeckers, little owls, redstarts and cliff-nesting house martins.

The Dales Experience Bus service will run on Sundays May 20th, June 24th, July 8th, August 5th, September 9th and October 7th 2007. The service is provided by the Yorkshire Dales Society and the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group with funding from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's Sustainable Development Fund.

Click here for further details.


Steam Trains on Wensleydale Railway

Sunday 01 July 2007

Steam trains return to the Wensleydale Railway for a month in August, operating from 1st to 17th August and from 21st August until 2nd September 2007.

Ex British Rail Standard Class locomotive No 80105 will haul the first train of the day from Leeming Bar to Redmire and bring the last train back. During the day it will shuttle between Redmire and Leyburn, with extra passenger mileage for the locomotive to run round at Constable Burton (no alighting there). Diesel multiple units will provide a feeder service between Leeming Bar and Leyburn. Services are ‘turn up and go’ except for groups of 11 or more who should pre-book tickets.

The timetable and fares for Wensleydale Railway’s August services and events will be available on the railway company’s website at www.wensleydalerailway.com.

“There is a host of planning and work needed to achieve a successful month of steam services,” said Mr. Deane, Wensleydale Railway's Mechanical Engineering Director. “Volunteers will be of crucial importance. Intending volunteers will be very welcome and should make their interest known through the WRA website if they are not already registered with the Association.”

“The return of steam trains will bring back many memories for people who lived in Wensleydale before the line closed to passenger services in the 1950s,” says Wensleydale Railway Chairman Mrs. Annison. “In those days, the large number of jobs on the railway meant that many local families depended on the line for their livelihood. Some people remember going down the dale to school in Northallerton by train; others recollect going in the opposite direction, to the grammar school in Askrigg or to Leeds and Bradford, in the days when the Wensleydale Railway connected with the renowned Settle-Carlisle line at Garsdale.”

Long-term WR proposals include the re-building of an 18 mile missing link between Redmire and Garsdale, to restore this connection, as well as the pressing need to restore the half mile South Curve track into Northallerton station.


New Heritage Bus Service to Bolton Abbey

Sunday 01 July 2007

A new heritage bus service will link Bolton Abbey Station (on the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway) with Bolton Abbey village on Summer Sundays. 

The service will run on Sundays August 5th, 12th and 19th, September 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th, and be operated by a vintage open-top bus (subject to weather and availability).  Click here for timetable details.

Sunday bus links to Embsay and Bolton Abbey are provided on Cravenlink service 884 from Ilkley and Skipton.


Leave no trace plea from National Park

Wednesday 23 May 2007

Visitors to the Yorkshire Dales are being urged to take their rubbish home with them – and not leave it for others to pick up.

The plea from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) comes as its Area Rangers are seeing an increase in the amount of litter following recent warm weather.
Phil Richards, the YDNPA Area Ranger for Lower Wharfedale, said: “We have been finding everything from disposable tents and food wrappers to human excrement and hypodermic syringes in various parts of the National Park.
“The worst hit areas seem to be in Wharfedale where, at Lower Grass Wood near Grassington, illegal campers have caused significant problems by cutting down trees for fire wood, burning of gates and footpath signposts and also leaving vast amounts of rubbish.
“Apart from the problems of having to remove the rubbish, it also has an impact on the wildlife and the landscape – and it’s not very nice for other people to see.”
The wood, which is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust – the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity – has been a target for illegal camping for some time.
Now the Trust and its partners – the YDNPA, Grassington Angling Club and the Parish Council – are looking at various ways to halt the problem including planting hawthorn at some of the illegal camping areas.
“The vast majority of visitors to the National Park treat the area with respect – but a minority treat the countryside with total disregard,” Phil said.
“They spoil the very thing they come to enjoy and they have no consideration for others. It is not uncommon to remove between 10 and 20 bags of rubbish after a sunny weekend including beer bottles, cans and disposable barbecues.
“In addition, fires that are started also pose a threat to the woodland and its habitat, especially as the weather warms up and the groundcover gets drier and drier.
“Our message to everyone who comes to this beautiful landscape is that the National Park is a special area for all to enjoy and, in order for it to remain so, please treat it with the respect it so much deserves – leave no trace of your visit when you go.”
Woodland Trust  spokesman Alistair Nash said: “Woodland fires can cause devastation, with loss of trees, plants and wildlife.  A fire can spread very quickly, putting people’s lives at risk.  We ask people to be vigilant and take care when enjoying the countryside,”


Ribblehead Viaduct Walk - Fully Booked

Sunday 04 March 2007

Network Rail and the Friends of the Settle Carlisle Line have got together to present rail enthusiasts and walkers alike with a unique opportunity - the chance to walk across the world famous Ribblehead Viaduct.

The railway is closed for two weeks in July as part of a five year, £60 million upgrade of the line, and Network Rail has agreed to open the viaduct to the public on Sunday 22 July, the final day of the closure.

Radio presenter Mike Harding will officially open the event, which runs from 10 am until 4 pm. The 24-arch viaduct is a quarter of a mile long, 104 feet high and was completed in 1875 after taking five years to build.

Network Rail has imposed a limit of 2,000 people throughout the day and the Friends will have an army of volunteers to act as guides. They will accompany visitors across the viaduct in parties of 25 people at a time. Network Rail has also said visitors must be over the age of 14 to cross the viaduct.

Temporary car parks will be set up at Ribblehead and at nearby Horton-in-Ribblesdale from where free shuttle buses are being provided by train operator Northern. Northern's rail replacement buses will also call at Ribblehead.

As well as the viaduct walk there will be free guided tours of the former shanty towns on the Ribblehead site, guided walks around the nature reserve, the Ribblehead Visitor Centre, exhibitions and attractions in the station area.

All tickets for the walk have now been sold.


Have your say on rights of way in North Yorkshire

Monday 02 April 2007

        
Ramblers, horse riders, and babies in buggies, mountain-bikers and people visiting the shops a local pub or travelling to work… they’re all among the thousands of people who, every day, use part of North Yorkshire’s extensive network of rights of way.
And now North Yorkshire County Council wants these rights of way users to have a say on how the rights of way network – the largest in England, with a total length equivalent to the distance between London and Hong Kong – can be improved.
A public consultation exercise has begun in which residents and visitors to North Yorkshire are invited to contribute their views to the county’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan.  The plan is aimed at improving the management, location and promotion of the network in a way which protects it and enhances it for the future.
“The rights of way network is one of the most socially inclusive transport networks,” said Gordon Gresty, corporate director of business and environmental services for North Yorkshire County Council.
“It affects all aspects of our lives, including improving our health, economy, culture, education, tourism, environment, heritage and transport.”
The North Yorkshire plan is being prepared jointly by: North Yorkshire County Council, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and the North York Moors National Park Authority.
The plan will set out an assessment of the extent to which the network meets current and likely future needs, of the opportunities provided for exercise and other forms of recreation, of accessibility to the blind and mobility-restricted, and will contribute to the Government’s transport priorities of reducing congestion, improving air quality, enhancing accessibility and improving safety.
Summaries of the Plan are available at libraries across North Yorkshire; while the complete Plan can be seen at district council offices and national park centres.  It can also be seen by following the links on North Yorkshire County Council’s website … www.northyorks.gov.uk.  Closing date for comments is June 30.

Bollywood Finale in the Yorkshire Dales

Tuesday 22 May 2007

A special train has been laid on for visitors to the spectacular finale of the Bollywood celebrations organised by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Northern Rail is providing the ticket-only train on 3 June as an addition to the normal timetable to promote public transport into the Dales – and the £5 charge for each seat will go to the Railway Children charity.

The free fun day in and around the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes is the culmination of a package of events organised by the YDNPA to tie in with the staging of the eighth International Indian Film Academy Awards in Yorkshire.

The event will be opened by YDNPA chairman Carl Lis and, as well as kite making and flying sessions – including stunning professional displays – visitors will be able to watch Indian dancing, henna hand painting and African drumming and try some Asian food.

Inside the museum, visitors will have a last chance to see the ‘Love is in the Air’ photographic exhibition and a display of wild flower paintings and a painting demonstration by Judith Bromley.

Catherine Kemp, the YDNPA’s Outreach Officer, said: “The fun day is the culmination of weeks of planning and we hope it will be as big a success as the other events that have made up our Bollywood celebrations.”

The train will leave Bradford Forster Square at 10.40am and stop in Shipley, Keighley, Skipton and Settle before arriving at Ribblehead at noon. From there passengers will be taken to Hawes in a fleet of vintage buses supplied by Kirkby Stephen firm Cumbria Classic Coaches and, if the weather is good, one of them will be an open-top double decker.

Passengers will leave Hawes at 3.30pm again by vintage vehicle to return to Bradford for 5.15pm.

Anyone wanting to book a seat on the train should contact the YDNPA Grassington offices on 01756 751600.

Full details of the day’s events are available on the YDNPA website at www.yorkshiredales.co.uk.


Special Events on the Wensleydale Railway

Friday 04 May 2007

May 2007 will be the busiest month yet for special events on the Wensleydale Railway. Details are available on the website www.wensleydalerailway.com and in the printed timetable (available from Tourist Information Centres in Hawes, Aysgarth, Leyburn, Bedale, Reeth, Northallerton, Richmond , Sedbergh and elsewhere).

There will be extra train services morning and late afternoon for the three days of the Dales Festival of Food and Drink in Leyburn (5-7 May) and extra afternoon trains for the Millennium Trust woodland event and Guided Walk from Redmire to Aysgarth (19 May) and the Swaledale Festival Guided Walk (31 May).

There are scheduled train service on all Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in May, and every day in half term week (28 May-3 June).

Special events include Community Rail weekend (18-20 May), the Kilburn White Horse 150 Anniversary (25 May), and a Hog Roast (with special connecting trains) at Leyburn on Wednesday evening 30 May.

Regular train services also serve local events such as the charity cream teas in Redmire village hall (6 May and 28 May) and Finghall Barrel Push (also 28 May).


Easter Guided Walks

Monday 26 March 2007

There's a choice of guided walks to help you get out in the Dales over the Easter weekend. Both walks have been organised by Dalesbus Ramblers, and are easily accessible by bus.

There's no need to book in advance, but if you'd like further details you can call the walk leader on the number shown below. You'll need to take a packed lunch, and don’t forget your waterproof clothing and spare warm clothes packed in a waterproof bag just in case!

EASTER SUNDAY 8th APRIL: ADDLEBROUGH
Follow the old green lanes over Stake Moss and then use the new permissive paths up the steep ascent of the ancient hill settlement, with its extensive views of Wensleydale and Semer Water.

Start: Kidstones Pass Lane End: 1045
Finish: Worton: Approx. 1545
Distance/Grading: 9.5 miles / Moderate to Energetic
BUSES Outward: Bus 800 from Leeds, Ilkley and Grassington
Return: Bus 800 to Grassington, Ilkley and Leeds
Walk Leader: Steve: 0113 2715411



EASTER MONDAY 9th APRIL: CAPPLESTONE GATE
Explore the lesser known tracks above the Dales Way to reach Capplestone Gate trig point, where wonderful views of Wharfedale can be seen.

Start: Kettlewell, Shelter: 1120
Finish: Grassington: Approx. 1600
Distance/Grading: 8 miles / Moderate to Energetic
BUSES Outward: Bus 805 from Wakefield, Leeds, Ilkley and Grassington (bus 67A connects from Keighley and Skipton to Grassington)
Return: Bus 805 to Ilkley, Leeds and Wakefield, or bus 67A to Skipton and Keighley
Walk Leader: John: 0113 2791460

For details of other Dalesbus Ramblers guided walks see www.dalesbusramblers.org.uk

Motorway traffic jams can ruin Easter getaway

Thursday 29 March 2007

    Motorists are fed up with not knowing how long their journey will take, according to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr).

More than half of motorists say the most annoying thing about congestion is the unpredictability it causes or the waste of their time. ippr’s report shows almost a third of car drivers say unpredictable journey times are the biggest problem and nearly a quarter say congestion ‘wastes my time’.

Traffic in England is predicted to increase by up to 10 per cent between 2006 and 2010 and by up to 36 per cent by 2025. The government plans to tackle the problem of increased congestion by introducing a national road pricing scheme but ippr’s report shows that the public are sceptical and unsure what exactly road pricing is.

Anthony Vigor, ippr senior research fellow and report author said:

"The Easter getaway is a prime example of the problems of increased traffic and congestion. Motorists are unable to predict how long their journeys will take and this frustrates the travelling public. The evidence shows that without action it will only get worse.

"National road pricing would be an effective way to tackle congestion. But the public are sceptical and unsure how such a scheme would work. If road pricing is to provide the solution, more needs to be done to win the public over."

Charging Forward? A review of public attitudes towards road pricing in the UK by Jenny Bird and Anthony Vigor is available from www.ippr.org


The Missing Link

Sunday 04 March 2007

    On Sunday April 1st 2007 the Skipton East Lancs Railway Action Partnership (SELRAP) is to run a special train between Colne and Skipton and return.

Taking the East Lancashire line to Blackburn, after reversal the train will follow the Ribble Valley route via Whalley and Clitheroe to Hellifield where, after a second reversal, it will head for Skipton on the Leeds-Carlisle line. After a layover in Skipton the service will return via the same 50 mile route.

Another first for SELRAP, this unique service, operated by Northern Rail, will be a clear demonstration of serious intent to reopen the 11.5 mile line between Skipton and Colne ..... thus creating a new east west corridor for passenger and freight services.

Northern Rail will provide a four car class 156 for this unique service ..... part of which (between Clitheroe and Hellifield) is normally a freight-only route.

The train departs Colne at 10.40am, and arrives in Skipton at 1.18pm . The return journey will depart Skipton at 4.12pm, arriving in Colne at 6.06pm. Passengers can also join the trip at Nelson, Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn & Clitheroe.

For more information and to book for this unique opportunity, contact Membership Secretary: Derek Jennings, 3 Hamilton Rd, Carr Hall, Barrowford, Lancs, BB9 6DE, Tel 01282 690411 or via e mail: membership@selrap.org.uk


Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, and cost £16.00 (£11.00 for children).
Please note that all tickets must be paid for in full by Sat 17th March, and that in the unlikely event of
insufficient sales, SELRAP reserves the right to cancel this service and return all ticket money.


The half way point has been reached in the Winter Walks programme run by Wensleydale Railway.

Thursday 01 March 2007

Five Sundays of winter walks of 5-6 miles each still to go up to April 1.  
Walkers have come from a wide area, to catch the 10.35 train from Leeming Bar (10.41 from Bedale) to either Leyburn or Redmire, depending on the route for the day.
“Once the snow cleared in January, there have been some excellent walks, “ said Mrs. Ruth Annison, WR chairman. “There are longer views in winter, both up and down the dale, when the trees are without leaves. It can be wet underfoot though, so boots or strong shoes are especially necessary for countryside walks at this time of year.”
This Sunday, March 4, the walk starts from Redmire station at 11.30 and returns to Redmire for the 3.35pm train. On March 11, the walk is a Leyburn circular, starting from Leyburn station at 11.50 and on March 18 there will be a six mile linear walk from Redmire to Leyburn. Details on www.wensleydalerailway.com or ring 08454 50 54 74.
Note: Walks are free with same day WR rail ticket, £2 for others. Walkers should bring suitable clothing, footwear, food and drink.

North Yorkshire Road Deaths Down

Thursday 18 January 2007

    

Fatalities on North Yorkshire’s roads have been slashed by 20%. The decrease includes a 38% fall in motorcyclist deaths.

“This is a big step in the right direction, but the job is by no means done,” said Road Policing Inspector Chris Charlton. “We are still finalising and analysing the figures, but it is already emerging that young drivers and passengers make up a disproportionate number of those killed. It is clear that the efforts of the Police and all the other agencies involved in road safety must continue to focus on these road-users.” The most spectacular drop in fatalities is among motorcycle riders. 13 died last year, compared with 21 in 2005. This is the lowest total since 2001 and Insp Charlton attributes the success to North Yorkshire Police’s unique mixture of training, persuasion - and hard-line enforcement.

The force has kept up its Bike Safe campaign, offering advanced riding guidance, together with a publicity roadshow which has attended events and rider meeting places across the county. Insp Charlton said: “The main thrust, though, has come from a tough enforcement policy. Extra patrols and extra checks, all backed by a well-publicised fast-track policy that can see extreme speeders stripped of their licences within a week of being caught - these are the key ingredients.” And, he said, a great part of this effort was made possible by financial support from North Yorkshire County Council.

He said: “We have provided officers prepared, literally, to go the extra mile and do extra targeted patrols; NYCC have, in their turn, backed publicity with practical action and funded much of this extra effort.” Two teenagers, one on a moped, the other riding a relatively small 125cc machine, were killed in 2006. All the other riders killed were adults on full-size machines, many of them powerful sports bikes. NYP’s motorcycle safety strategy for 2007 will be formulated shortly in consultation with the County Council, but Insp Charlton expects it to be not too far removed from the previous policy of advice for riders who will listen and hard-line enforcement for those who will not. Fatalities on the county’s 6,000 miles of roads fell from 85 in 2005 to 68 last year, including the motorcyclist deaths.

Insp Charlton says there are many factors behind this decrease, but team-work among a variety of North Yorkshire organisations is high on the list. He said enforcement played a large part, and the force was becoming ever-more efficient at targeting those who threaten other road-users’ welfare. “Improving intelligence leads us to better targeting of, for example, drink-drivers, and advanced technology effortlessly pinpoints untaxed and uninsured drivers for us - and it is the experience of Road Policing officers that drivers who will risk going out without tax, insurance or MoT Certificates are very often drivers whose vehicles are not roadworthy and who may well be under the influence of drink or drugs. These dangerous failings go together.” He said: “If it sounds as if I am blowing the trumpet of North Yorkshire’s officers, especially the members of Road Policing Group, then I am. Their efforts have saved lives, it’s as simple and straightforward as that.” But the Police effort is only part of the story, he said.

Every year’s new cars are better designed for safety, and every year North Yorkshire’s roads are safer. “Traffic-calming measures are put in place, hazards are removed, marking and signs are improved and speed limits are constantly reviewed and better fitted to the job they must do,” he said. There had been successful examples of team-work, notably under the aegis of the county’s 95 Alive campaign led by the County Council, which brings together a wide variety of organisations with an interest in cutting casualties. Fire and Rescue have operated eye-catching speed matrix signs across the county, reminding drivers of speed limits, together with their powerful support for the Drink-Drive campaign in the form of roadside information displays centred around the mangled wreckage of crashed cars. In the same campaign NYCC had sponsored highly effective video vans touring the county showing graphic and hard-hitting videos hammering home the drink-drive message.

The Highways Agency’s Traffic Officers had also played a part, dealing with the aftermath of accidents and adding a high-visibility presence to the A1, freeing up Policing officers to concentrate on casualty reduction work. Similarly, the Government’s Vehicle and Operator Services Agency now runs its own vehicle safety stop-checks, again freeing officers for front-line work. And, said Inspector Charlton, a major contribution had come from the Air Ambulance service, whose speed in getting badly-injured casualties to hospital had undoubtedly saved lives. Having said all this, though, none of the agencies involved felt at all complacent.

Insp Charlton said: “No-one is celebrating. No-one can forget that 68 families are missing a loved one, many more are coming to terms with a dreadful injury suffered by someone close to them. Lives have been lost and lives have been ruined and I fear this will continue as long as there are drivers and riders prepared to take risks and to drive in a way that outstrips their skill.” County Councillor Peter Sowray, Executive Member for Environmental Services, said: “We will continue to work as hard as we can to reduce fatalities further, but ultimately responsibility for future casualty figures lies with one very specific group of people, road-users. We will play our part, with renewed energy, but I am asking everyone who uses this county’s roads - pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers - to work together to further cut this tragic toll.”


Dales' Roads Death Toll "Totally Unacceptable"

Tuesday 31 July 2007

North Yorkshire Police today 31st of July launched a hard-hitting enforcement campaign aimed squarely at cutting a “totally unacceptable” toll of death and injury across the county.
Intensive police action will target dangerous, careless and irresponsible road users, and officers warn that they will take firm, decisive action against offenders. Visitors to the county should be aware that the tough policy applies right across the county’s 6,000 miles of roads.
Expert analysis has highlighted 39 stretches of road with poor accident records, but Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs warns: “It is not roads that cause accidents – it is drivers and riders. We will be concentrating resources on those 39 identified routes and we will act positively against anyone we see endangering other road users.”
Mr Briggs is leading Operation Helical, at least eight weeks of co-ordinated action involving the emergency services and other 95 Alive organisations.
He said: “50 people have died on North Yorkshire’s roads this year and that is totally unacceptable. The vast majority of those deaths are due to someone’s error or irresponsibility and I am making it very clear right now that North Yorkshire Police will not tolerate this. It is madness that so many people’s lives are affected by the actions of so few people. Up to 100 people can be affected by every fatal collision, beginning with family, and spreading out through friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
“This cannot continue.”
He said: “My officers, together with the overwhelming majority of the public we serve, see no reason why lives should be endangered by people who cannot or will not use the roads in a sensible, considerate manner.”
So as well as normal police duties, North Yorkshire Police officers will –
·                Operate extra road safety patrols. Marked and plain cars and motorcycles will check the county’s roads, concentrating particularly on the 39 high-risk routes. North Yorkshire County Council is contributing substantially to the cost of this extra work as part of its role in the 95 Alive York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership
·                Fast-track “extreme speeders” to court within days of their being caught. Drivers and riders who break any speed limit by 30mph can lose their licences in just a week
·                Deploy Autovision. This gives irrefutable evidence of speeding individuals and which can be deployed on any road at any time. Autovision records the speed and registration number of passing vehicles – together with a picture of the driver’s face.
·                Use the Automatic Number Plate Recognition system to read and check the numbers of passing vehicles. Computers instantly check whether each vehicle is taxed or insured and its owner has a driving licence; the vehicles may be seized.
·                Operate a series of targeted campaigns against specific offences which can lead to accidents. These include using a hand-held phone while driving, and crossing double white lines. Drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts are also a priority target, as are those who drive after drinking or using drugs. North Yorkshire Police are fully supporting the national Summer Drink and Drug Driving campaign, launched yesterday, and Mr Briggs reminded road users that not only will there be surprise stop checks, but it is this force’s policy to breath-test every driver and rider involved in an accident.
As well as all these actions by North Yorkshire Police, Operation Helical will also involve a series of actions and campaigns by partners, such as Government agencies and – especially – the members of the 95 Alive campaign working to cut road casualties. These may include swoops on untaxed vehicles, checks for unsafe tyres or overweight commercial vehicles, flashing roadside signs to warn speeders, and much more. 
Said Mr Briggs: “We welcome safe responsible riders and drivers in our county. We are pleased to police those of our own residents who can travel with consideration to other road-users. This force is not anti-motorist or anti-biker in any way, but North Yorkshire officers will use all means available to them to cut this carnage on our roads and we are determined to put this county’s roads among the safest in the country.”
He added: “I want visitors to North Yorkshire to be clear on their position too. They know they are welcome to enjoy our marvellous rural roads and scenery, and welcome to stop in our towns and villages.
“But they now know that if they come here and take risks on North Yorkshire’s roads, then every one of my officers will use their full powers to make their visit deeply unpleasant.
“That’s a promise.”

Tony Lidgate 01609-789959

30 July 07

Routes identified as having high rates of accidents or which pose road safety problems are -
Western Area
            Craven District
1          A65 Skipton to Gargrave Road.  Skipton Bypass A59 junction to         Gargrave
2          A59 Beamsley Bank
3          A65 Austwick to Settle
4          B6479 junction of the B6255 to Austwick Road
            Harrogate District
5          A61 North Harrogate to Ripon
6          A59 Travellers rest to Fewston
7          A6055 Knaresborough to Boroughbridge
8          A658 Harrogate Bypass – A661 to A61
            Richmond District
9          A66 Scotch Corner to Newsham
10        A684 Patrick Brompton to Leyburn
11        A6108 Leyburn to Middleham
12        A684 Hawes to Aysgarth
Eastern Area
            Scarborough District
13        A170 Wykham to Scarborough
14        A171 Egton to Whitby
15        A171 Fylingdales to Cloughton
16        A165 Scarborough to Reighton
            Ryedale District
17        B1257 Malton to Helmsley
18        A169 Malton Bypass to Low Marishes
19        A170 Kirbymoorside to Pickering
20        A169 Pickering to Saltergate bank
            Hambleton District
21        A684 Northallerton to A19
22        B1257
23        A684 Northallerton to A1
24        A167 Northallerton to Great Smeaton
Central Area
            York District
26        A64 Copmanthorpe Top - Hopgrove Roundabout
27        A64 Hopgrove Roundabout to Sandhutton (
28        A1237 Copmanthorpe Top to Hopgrove Roundabout
29        A59 Boroughbridge Road from A1237 to Moor Monkton
      Crossroads
30        A1079 Grimston Roundabout to Kexby Bridge
31        A166 Grimston Roundabout to Gate Helmsley
      32        A19 Fulford Interchange to Escrick (Skipwith Road)
            Selby District
33        A64 Bramham to the A1237 York Bypass
34        A19 Escrick (Skipwith Road) to Selby Bypass
35        A19 Selby Bypass to Whitley Bridge
36        B1222 From the A1 to the A162
37        B1222 From the A162 to Cawood
38        A162 from the A64 to Brotherton
39        A63 From the A1 up to and including the Selby Bypass

Rail Fares Frozen or Reduced

Sunday 07 January 2007

Northern Rail, operator of passenger services over the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle and Leeds-Morecambe railway lines, has mainly frozen or reduced its fares on these routes from 2 January 2007.

Some examples are as follows:

Standard Day Return from Leeds to Carlisle now £25.00 - was £30.25

Standard Day Return from Appleby to Settle now £10.70 - was £13.20

Standard Day Return from Settle to Carlisle now £18.00

Standard Day Return from Bradford to Morecambe now  £17.00 - was £19.95

Fares from Appleby to Carlisle and from Settle to Leeds have been frozen. Northern have also restructured the fares to remove all the anomalies that meant travelling from stations south of Skipton was more expensive, and have made the structure more visible, reversible and fair. This should also remove the need for rebooking en route to get the best fare.

Also from January 2007, the price of a Dales Railcard has been reduced from £12 to £10 and the price of a Friends Gold Card from £15 to £12. Both cards offer the same benefits but the Dales Railcard is only available to residents within certain postcode areas. The Friends Gold Card is available to members of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line wherever they live.


Know where you stand on Barden Moor

Monday 15 January 2007

Visitors to the magnificent Barden Moor and Barden Fell north of Skipton now know exactly where they stand – thanks to work by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
The Authority’s Ranger service has just completed the installation of 18 access boards which are positioned at entry points to the fell and moor and provide information relating to which areas of moorland are open to the public under the terms of the access agreement between Bolton Abbey Estate and the YDNPA.
The boards were created by YDNPA Interpretation Officer Karen Griffiths working closely with the Bolton Abbey Estate, which has allowed public access on its land since 1968.
They also contain information on the recently-introduced Countryside and Rights of Way Act in relation to access land.
Phil Richards, the YDNPA’s Area Ranger for Lower Wharfedale, said: “The whole aim of the boards is to help people to know where they are and where they can go.
“Both the YDNPA and Bolton Abbey Estate wish members of the public to enjoy the moorland and at the same time respect any restrictions that may be in place.
“For that reason we would advise visitors to the two areas of moorland to take a few moments to look at the information provided on the panels which also includes seasonal restrictions for both shooting and occasionally for the risk of fire. Visitors are also reminded that dogs are not allowed on the moorland unless on public rights of way.”
Ben Heyes agent for Bolton Abbey Estate said: “We are delighted with the  boards, and  grateful to the YDNPA  for giving the estate an opportunity to help in their design.
“The estate has had a long and progressive tradition of access – particularly to the moorland  – within the Devonshire Family Trust’s ownership at Bolton Abbey and these new panels maintain and enhance that tradition as well helping, we hope, those who wish to enjoy the moors to do so safely and responsibly.

Bridge to By-Pass Farm

Monday 15 January 2007

Even better views are in store for walkers trekking between the beautiful Yorkshire Dales three peaks of Ingleborough, Pen-y-gent and Whernside.
Work has just finished on improvements and alterations to public footpaths going through Nether Lodge Farm, including the diversion round the yard of one of the busiest footpaths in the area.
And farmer John Sedgewick is delighted with the result.
Over the last few months, specialist contractors working for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) have been building a bridge over a beck near the farm in readiness for the footpath diversion.
Steve Hastie, the YDNPA Area Ranger for Ribblesdale, said: “Several public footpaths converge at Nether Lodge – three from the north and two from the south and one goes through the farmyard and is part of the popular Three Peaks route, as well as carrying the well-used ‘Ribble Way’ trail. 
“As a result, the footpath was exceptionally well used and large numbers of people went through the yard throughout the year, particularly at weekends. In fact, there were regular sponsored walks with up to 500 people using the route throughout the spring and summer and the Three Peaks fell race also used the route every year with up to 550 competitors passing through the yard. 
“The owners of Nether Lodge applied for the public footpath to be diverted out of the farmyard to the north of the farm onto a route giving more open views across moorland and pasture to the northeast and producing a route that is easier to follow as well as safer and more pleasant.
“The diversion order was made following widespread consultation with no objections and, as a result, a new, 14m footbridge was needed over Ling Gill Beck. Mr Sedgewick contributed by building an aggregate track to carry the footpath to the bridge.” 
The work is now finished and Mr Sedgewick is pleased as punch.
“Having the diversion over the new footbridge gives us the freedom to go about our business,” he said.
“Before, we couldn’t work with the sheep in the yard on Saturdays and Sundays – there could be up to 2,000 walkers coming through on a summer’s weekend. 
“The bridge looks good and fits in with the surroundings and I would like to thank Steve Hastie and the National Park for helping to get the diversion out of our farmyard.”
The curved footbridge was made out of oak and larch to fit in with the character of the surrounding fields and all the timber was sourced from sustainably-managed British woodlands. 

Guided Walks from the Wensleydale Railway

Sunday 07 January 2007

There will be a guided walk every Sunday in January, February and March 2007, starting from either Redmire station at 11.30 or Leyburn station at 11.50, depending on the route chosen for that day (the later time at Leyburn allows walkers from Upper Wensleydale to travel to Leyburn by train on the 11.35 departure from Redmire). Walks are moderately strenuous and last 3-4 hours, ending in either Redmire or Leyburn, from where you can catch a train back to your starting point. They typically cover 5-6 miles and suitable clothing and footwear is essential. Please bring your own refreshments, especially drinks. Depending on the route and timings, there may also be the opportunity to visit Bolton Castle Tea room (closed during the winter), the Old Town Hall Tea room in Redmire or cafés in Leyburn. Leyburn station tearoom is open on all train running days.

Details of the walks (and the starting points for each walk) are currently being finalised and will be shown on the Wensleydale Railway website shortly.

Trains will run on the Wensleydale Railway every Saturday and Sunday in January, February and March 2007.

For more information, telephone 08454 50 54 74.


Latest Technology provides Personal Tour Guides to Ribblehead

Monday 01 January 2007

Visitors wanting to explore one of the most famous National Park attractions ­– the Ribblehead Viaduct - can now go for walks with their own personal tour guide – thanks to the latest technology.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) has teamed up with Drystone Radio and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line to launch an audio trail around the viaduct. The Authority has funded the production of the trail while Drystone Radio staff have lent their technical expertise and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line have devised the route and contributed to the historical information about the building of the viaduct.

Karen Griffiths, the YDNPA’s Interpretation Officer, said: “The Authority decided earlier this year to try to reduce the number of new interpretation panels – boards placed on site explaining the immediate surroundings – being installed in the National Park because of the visual impact they have on the environment. Instead, we were looking at other ways of helping visitors understand what they see around them and we decided to try virtual interpretation."

“People can download the guided tour from our website at www.outofoblivion.org.uk or the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line website at www.settle-carlisle.com/ribbleheadtour onto their ipod or MP3 player free of charge and then go out and follow the trail at their own speed and in their own time."

“It’s like having an expert walking alongside you explaining the history of the area. “

Drystone Radio spokeswoman Joanna Newsholme said: “The audio guides are the perfect user-friendly way for visitors to come to the National Park and explore and learn at their leisure.

“We are proud to be partners in a project that allows us to celebrate the rich heritage of our area while embracing new technology. At the same time it is bringing the Yorkshire Dales to a wider and more diverse audience than may have previously been possible. "

Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line Walks Coordinator Ruth Evans said: "We were very keen to embrace this technology and Ribblehead is the ideal location – full of interest, spectacular scenery and a clear need for interpretation. The next logical step for us is to try to devise an i-pod commentary on the actual train journey between Settle and Carlisle."

The audio trail is part of a wider project to encourage people to come to the Ribblehead area by train or, if they have to use a car, to park in the designated parking areas and not damage the roadside verges.

It is hopefully the first of several audio trails that will be created in the National Park, each covering a different subject.


New Bus Link to Embsay & Bolton Abbey

Monday 09 April 2007

    An imaginative new bus service between Skipton, Addingham and Ilkley is filling a major gap in weekend public transport provision between Craven and West Yorkshire.
When, in July last year, the hourly cross-boundary X84 Sunday bus service from Leeds and Ilkley to Skipton was terminated at Ilkley, leaving a major gap in service, transport chiefs ignored pleas for the service to be restored.  Undeterred, the 1,600 member Yorkshire Dales Society and 400 member Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group developed proposals for a replacement service which would also serve the Yorkshire Dales National Park, improving weekend access to Wharfedale for people without cars.
The new service, known as Cravenlink, provides an approximately two hourly link with a low floor 24 seater bus provided by local operator Jacksons of Silsden, between Skipton bus and rail station and Ilkley. Some buses run along the main A65 via Draughton (784) whilst others (884) link Embsay and Bolton Abbey with Skipton and Ilkley – giving Embsay its first Sunday bus service for many years.  Services are timed to give excellent onward connections to and from Leeds, Otley and Keighley, as well as restoring a key morning and later afternoon connection between the Settle-Carlisle line, Ilkley and Otley.
Thanks to financial support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s Sustainable Development Fund the new bus service will operate every Sunday and Bank Holiday until at least 2nd December 2007.
“We want to prove that there is a real demand for Sunday public transport between Skipton, Addingham, Leeds and Otley, and into the Yorkshire Dales National Park”, commented Colin Speakman, Secretary of the Yorkshire Dales Society.
A programme of events and guided walks, known as Sharing the Dales has been arranged, linked to the new service, aimed at people who do not generally visit the National Park, especially people without access to their own car. 
In order to develop and promote the new service, and proposed other improvements to cross-boundary public transport, a new “not for profit” social enterprise company has been formed by the two organisations. Known as the “Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company,” the new company will use external funding to develop and manage well planned and imaginatively marketed sustainable transport services for local residents and visitors alike in the Dales and Forest of Bowland.
The Cravenlink service and the Dales & Bowland Community Interest Company were launched at Bolton Abbey on April 22nd by Keighley and Ilkley MP Ann Cryer.
Click here for details of the Cravenlink service and the Sharing the Dales events.  

Signs of the times for Pennine Way

Monday 02 April 2007

 
People using the 51-mile section of the Pennine Way National Trail running through the Yorkshire Dales will soon find it even easier to follow where they are going.
Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) staff are currently replacing 95 signs or way marker posts thanks to a £7,000 grant from Natural England.
The 270-mile National Trail, which runs from the Peak District National Park to the Scottish Borders, is undergoing a revamp to its way marking and the YDNPA is one of the first National Park Authorities to take advantage of the funding to carry out the work.
Peter Lambert, the YDNPA’s Pennine Way Ranger, said: “The signs being replaced vary significantly along the trail and, because many were put up over the years, they are reaching the end of their useful life.
“The new ones will bring uniformity to the route while still allowing for slight regional differences. They will be of a higher quality – reflecting the high standards expected of a National Trail – and, because they are made from oak, they will be very durable.”
All of them will have the familiar National Trail Acorn symbol and, to provide additional information to users, distance, designation and destination will be displayed on road-side signs and at other important points, a feature lacking on some of the older signs.
“The Pennine Way brings hundreds of long- and short-distance walkers through the Yorkshire Dales National Park every year – with an obvious benefit to the local economy – and we hope the new additions to the National Trail will help people to enjoy their visit even more,” Peter said.
Steve Westwood, Pennine Way National Trail Officer for Natural England, said:
“It’s great to see the upgrade completed in the National Park to the high quality standards set out for National Trails. This ensures that the Pennine Way is easy to follow with unobtrusive but clear signage.”

Miles without stiles at Bolton Abbey

Monday 12 March 2007

The Bolton Abbey Estate maintenance team and the forestry team have been hard at work over the winter months improving the network of nature trails through Strid Wood, originally opened in 1810 by the 6th Duke of Devonshire and the Reverend William Carr.

This winter the maintenance team have worked incredibly hard removing all the stiles and replacing them with gates between Bolton Bridge and Barden Bridge. The work has made this 5 mile section of the Wharfe valley accessible to many including young families with all terrain buggies. This work has enhanced so many peoples visits and the Estate has received numerous compliments including S Beardings of Arthington who simply said "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for gates instead of stiles!!! It is much easier on the knees and hips".

The Cumberland Trail, specifically designed for less abled visitors and children has also been resurfaced. This 750m nature trail starts at Strid Wood car park and follows a circular route through the northern section of Strid Wood. Resting spots and a bird hide draw our attention to the spectacular views and the abundance of wildlife.

Whilst the footpath was resurfaced the forestry department seized the opportunity to thin the trees and open the canopy to encourage the wildflowers, including the dormant bluebells, to bloom. Roy Lingard, Head Forester on the Estate, went one step further and produced a series of interpretation panels which he strategically positioned along the path to illustrate the management of woods and how they have evolved over thousands of years.


Summer Buses to the Dales

Monday 26 March 2007

            Most seasonal bus services in the Yorkshire Dales are still running for the 2007 season:

SERVICES 800/5 from West Yorkshire to Wharfedale and Wensleydale

These buses run on Sundays and Bank Holidays from Wakefield, Leeds and Ilkley to Bolton Abbey, Grassington, Kettlewell, Aysgarth and Hawes, with extra Upper Wharfedale Shuttle journeys between Grassington and Kettlewell. Click here for times.

SERVICE 809 from Ilkley, Skipton and Settle to Malham and Malham Tarn

The MALHAM TARN SHUTTLE BUS provides a handy service from Settle to Malham Tarn and Malham, with links from Ilkley and Skipton. It runs on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays from 7th April, with connections available on Sundays and Bank Holidays on service 800 from Leeds.  Click here for times.

CRAVENLINK 784/884

A brand-new Sunday and Bank Holiday bus link between Ilkley and Skipton commenced on 22nd April. Some journeys operate via Bolton Abbey and Embsay (for Steam Railway). Connections with other bus and rail services are available at Ilkley and Skipton. Click here for times.

FOUNTAINS FLYER 812

This service links York and Ripon with Pateley Bridge and Grassington on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays. Click here for times.

NIDDERDALE RAMBLER 25

The Nidderdale Rambler runs from Pateley Bridge up Nidderdale to Lofthouse and Middlesmoor on Summer Sundays and Bank Holidays, connecting with services 24, 802 and 812 at Pateley Bridge. Click here for times.

RIPON ROWELLER

The Summer Sunday and Bank Holiday service on the Ripon Roweller connects Ripon with Fountains Abbey and Lightwater Valley, connecting with service 36 from Leeds and Harrogate in Ripon. The Sunday service has now finished for 2007.

FOUNTAINS FLYER 802

The Fountains Flyer connects Wakefield, Leeds and Otley with Pateley Bridge, Fountains Abbey, Ripon, Masham, Leyburn and Richmond. This service has now finished for 2007.

SWALEDALE EXPLORER 803

The Swaledale Explorer connects Wakefield, Leeds and Harrogate with Ripon, Masham, Leyburn, Reeth and Hawes. This service has now finished for 2007.

SERVICE 569 from Kirkby Stephen to Hawes

This vintage bus service runs every Tuesday from 10th April, operated by Cumbria Classic Coaches. Click here for times.

WENSLEYDALE VINTAGE TOUR BUS

This service links Ripon and Leyburn with Redmire (for Wensleydale Railway) and Hawes. It runs on Tuesdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 31st March. Click here for times.

The DALES EXPERIENCE BUS from Huddersfield, Bradford and Ilkley to Skipton and Malham will have its next outings on 9th September and 7th October.

Summer Sunday and Bank Holiday bus links into the Dales are now running on service B10 from Clitheroe to Settle and service X80 from Preston and Clitheroe to Skipton.

For full details of all these services see www.dalesbus.org.


Dalesbus Ramblers Summer Walks

Sunday 07 January 2007

    A programme of free guided walks from the popular DalesBus services is available on most Sundays and Bank Holidays throughout the year.

Details of the Summer programme of walks, varying in length between three and twelve miles, are now available in a full colour booklet entitled "Summer Walks in the Yorkshire Dales" available from local information centres, and online.

The walks are organised by Dalesbus Ramblers, in conjunction with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All the walks are free of charge to public transport users, and there's no need to book in advance.

To find out more visit the Dalesbus Ramblers website.


Walk off the winter blues

Thursday 09 November 2006

      

A lunchtime stroll could be the perfect way to combat the winter blues according to the Ramblers’ Association (RA), which is encouraging
workers to get away from their computers and out into the fresh air during their breaks.

A poll by the RA found a daily stroll can help combat feelings of gloom. In the RA’s National Walking Survey, 69 per cent of people said walking helped them with stress, depression, anxiety and problem-solving.

As the clocks go back and the nights draw in, the lunch break can be the only chance to get a mood-boosting dose of daylight. During the winter months, shorter days and dark evenings can lower the mood. Being outdoors in natural light is thought to be one of the most effective ways to help sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). One study showed a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as treatment with artificial light in helping to combat winter depression.

Research shows walking regularly for as little as 30 minutes a day can also help prevent heart disease and stroke, strengthen the bones and improve flexibility and co-ordination – all especially important for anyone chained to a desk for most of their working life.

Ruth Wembridge, head of membership at the Ramblers’ Association, said: “In the winter months it’s so easy to stay in your warm office at lunchtime rather than going outside to get some fresh air. Yet exercise is vital for bolstering our immune systems and a daily dose of sunlight can be a real mood-booster. Walking is an ideal way to build exercise into your daily life and fight the winter blues. Even a brisk walk round the block or in a nearby park can make all the difference at this time of year.”

And if you want to get the most out of walking, why not join the Ramblers’ Association. For just £24 a year you could become a member of the RA, giving you lots of great benefits, discounts on walking gear and free access to hundreds of led walks all over the country every week.


Police Promise Extra Patrols and Extra Breath Tests until New Year

Tuesday 12 December 2006

    North Yorkshire Police launch the Christmas and New Year drink-drive campaign today (Friday 1 December) with a promise of extra patrols, extra breath tests and at least one static drink-drive check somewhere in the county every day until New Year.

“I want it to be quite clear,” said Road Policing Sergeant Pete Mason, “ we will be out there in numbers looking for the irresponsible idiots who think they can mix drink or drugs with driving. “We will be across North Yorkshire’s 6,000 miles of roads 24/7 in cars, bikes and vans - most very visible, some extremely plain - and on foot.”

Police officers will target every district in the county several times as part of the check-a-day programme. Static checks will be operated without warning at different times of day and night, and Sgt Mason said they will be on all types of road.

Furthermore, he said, every driver or rider stopped anywhere in North Yorkshire for a moving traffic offence, such as speeding or having a defective light or exhaust, will be breath-tested. This comes in addition to the force’s existing policy of breath-testing every driver involved in a road accident.

The operation will be complemented by an education campaign in partnership with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, who will be displaying wrecked cars around the county with associated banners and posters. Police officers and staff will distribute “Drink or Drive - You Decide” beer mats, posters and window stickers to licensed premises throughout the county.

Sgt Mason said: “This looks like a lot commitment and resources being deployed for one purpose - and it is. The whole issue of driving after taking drink or drugs is literally a matter of life or death, and our campaign reflects that.”


Together cyclists will tackle climate change

Thursday 02 November 2006

    The Government has recently awarded the UK’s national cyclists’ organisation, CTC, almost £300,000 to raise awareness of climate change amongst cyclists. At the heart of the project will be a thought-provoking short film to be shown this summer in cinemas and on other media.

CTC has been getting cyclists onto their bikes for 128 years. In 1896, just as the first cars were venturing onto the cyclists’ roads and CTC members were equipping themselves with the new pneumatic tyres, Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius realised that carbon dioxide released from burning coal would lead to global warming. Today the science has been confirmed - over the last two hundred years levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have increased by 30%. Just under a third of the greenhouse gas emissions that we produce come from transport, households and industry each.

CTC Fundraiser, Chris Peck, said: “Cyclists are already ahead of the game – every trip we make on the bike rather than the car does something to reduce our own impact. As we and the rest of the population understand more about the challenge of climate change we will begin to do more about it. “

“Climate change has been growing in importance over the last few years as more and more people realise the seriousness of the challenge that we are facing. To tackle climate change everyone will have to play their part – from the Government down to kids riding their bikes to school.”

Notes

  • CTC is the national organisation for all cyclists in the UK and Ireland, including children, families, and commuters. CTC has 70,000 members and affiliates and is the oldest and largest cycling body in the UK. www.ctc.org.uk

  • The ten warmest years on record have all been since 1990. Six of the ten warmest years on record in the UK were between 1995 and 2004. 2006 has featured the warmest July and September on record. Average sea levels in the UK are already 10cms higher than they were in 1900.

  • Current predictions indicate that by the end of the 21st century the global average temperature will increase by between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees, resulting in more frequent heatwaves in Europe or possibly the collapse of the warmth-bringing ocean currents called the thermohaline circulation.


Wensleydale Railway launches Driver Experience Days

Monday 11 December 2006

Wensleydale Railway launched its long-awaited Driver Experience scheme on Wednesday December 13th when – following a compulsory safety briefing - Mrs. Caroline Thornton-Berry of Swinithwaite boarded the train for her first session at the controls.
Wensleydale Railway’s trains are heritage DMU’s (diesel multiple units), built in the 1960s. They are popular with passengers because they have large windows.
“The Driver Experience scheme has been designed and tested by our own staff,” says Mrs. Ruth Annison, Chairman of Wensleydale Railway. “The full one-day package includes a Welcome Breakfast, followed by the all-important safety and technical briefing. Participants will have a hot lunch at the nearby Lodge hotel, inbetween two sessions of driving experience -  and a souvenir Certificate to take home. It’s a great idea for a present or prize because a gift token can be bought for Christmas, birthday or to mark a special occasion, and then used when it suits the recipient.”
Driver Experience Days operate separately from WR’s scheduled service trains and must be booked in advance, with no more than four participants on any one day.
The cost, including VAT and all refreshments, for one person for the Driver Experience Day is £225 (members of Wensleydale Railway Association £200).
For further details call Wensleydale Railway on 08454 50 54 74.

Government Plans to Put Passengers First

Wednesday 13 December 2006

        
A raft of new proposals that mark the most fundamental change in the operation of buses for 20 years have been unveiled by Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander.
"Putting Passengers First" outlines Government proposals to change the way buses are run, strengthening the working partnerships between local authorities and bus companies to attract more passengers in the long term.
The key changes being considered in Putting Passengers First are:
* On greater partnership working between local authorities and operators, making it easier for local authorities to have a say in bus frequency, timetables and fares.
* On punctuality, giving Traffic Commissioners greater powers of enforcement , holding not just operators but for the first time local authorities to account for the performance of local bus services
* On quality contracts (franchising) in the right circumstances making it a realistic option for local authorities to introduce schemes tailored to local needs.
* Allowing local charities and community groups to provide services in areas poorly served by other transport.
* On the environment, making sure that current bus subsidies help to support the Government's environmental objectives.
Douglas Alexander said:
"To many people buses are a lifeline, giving them access to jobs and shops and allowing them to stay in touch with family and friends. But since deregulation some areas have seen a free-for-all, with the needs of passengers being neglected.
In some areas - where local authorities and bus operators work in partnership for the benefit of passengers - the number of people using buses has gone up.
But in too many areas passengers are simply not getting the services they expect, and as a result passenger numbers have declined. By sharing best practice and giving local authorities and operators the tools they need to work effectively together, all passengers, regardless of where they live, should start to enjoy the benefits of top quality bus services."
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk

Work continues on Pennine Bridleway trail

Tuesday 19 December 2006

Work is underway on the latest phase of the Pennine Bridleway National Trail running through the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Contractors are currently on site on a 4km new section of the National Trail at Newby Head and it is hoped the work will be completed by early spring 2007.
A 4.5km section of the Thwaite Lane and Long Lane bridleways is also receiving attention. The lanes will remain open during the work, which will include filling pot holes, minor surfacing and restoration together with the replacement of existing, gated crossing points. The improvements should be finished early in the new year.
During 2006 the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) – with 100 per cent funding from the Countryside Agency – has upgraded and improved about 15kms of the National Trail, which enters the National Park at Long Preston, weaving through the Dales via Settle, Malham Moor, Feizor, Austwick, Selside and Newby Head and exiting at the Cumbria county boundary above Garsdale.
The route runs through some of the most outstanding scenery and wildlife habitats in the National Park including the Ingleborough Complex Special Area for Conservation and Ingleborough National Nature Reserve. It is due to be opened in 2009.
In January, work began on a section of the National Trail along the Hale Lane and Flascoe bridleways between Feizor and Austwick, repairing the drainage network and restoring it using traditional countryside management techniques.
And, in partnership with North Yorkshire County Council, restoration work on a 1km-stretch of the severely eroded Goat Scar Lane near Stainforth, including improvements to the drainage systems and track surface, was also completed. Archaeological surveys before work started on the lane identified a number of ancient stock underbridges – sometimes referred to as underpasses or culverts – along walled sections of the route, which meant staff had to take extra care in restoring it to its former glory.
Another section that received attention during the year was a 2kms stretch of the  Bark House bridleway network between Helwith Bridge and Austwick. Working with the Environment Agency and local farmers, these bridleways – including a flooded, walled section – were sympathetically restored. Work included tracing and reusing the existing stone field drains, constructing an open water coarse within the walled lane and rebuilding sections of damaged drystone walls.
The YNDPA’s Pennine Bridleway Project Officer Gareth Evans said: “We aim to have approximately 55kms of the 81kms that run through the National Park  completed by April.
“It has been a busy year for the Pennine Bridleway Team but none of the projects could have been completed without the help and support of local landowners, residents, parish councils and user groups. We owe them a big thank you.”
Background
The Pennine Bridleway is a new National Trail in the north of England, being planned and designed specifically for horse riders, off-road cyclists and walkers to enjoy. It will eventually run from the High Peak Trail in Derbyshire to Byrness, Northumberland, a distance of 560km (350 miles) and is due to be opened as funding allows.
Its creation has been made possible to date mainly through financial support from the Countryside Agency and a Sport England award of £1.8 million. 
The section through the National Park is being funded by the Countryside Agency, with support from the YDNPA and North Yorkshire County Council, with additional funding from Yorkshire Forward.
The first section of the Trail in the Yorkshire Dales National Park – the Settle Loop – was opened in August last year (2005) and has already proved to be hit with users.
The 10-mile (16km) circuit starts and finishes in Settle and stretches east towards Malham. It was created to provide a day trip excursion for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers wanting to spend time exploring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales rather than just passing through on their way up or down the Trail. 
In 1986, Mary Towneley rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland to highlight the state of the country’s bridleways and support the need for the Pennine Bridleway National Trail. A circular route, called the Mary Towneley Loop, includes Hebden Bridge and Todmorden and forms part of the 120 miles of the route already open to the public. 
Anyone wanting more information about the Pennine Bridleway National Trail can visit its website at  www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway.

Eurostar moves to St Pancras International in November 2007

Thursday 16 November 2006

  • Journey times will be cut by an average 23 – 25 minutes
  • High Speed 1 railway to deliver faster, more reliable, less environmentally damaging alternative to flying
  • Stunning new station with connections that bring Eurostar services to travellers across the UK

Eurostar, the high-speed passenger train operator between the UK, France and Belgium, announced today that it will launch passenger services from St Pancras International on Wednesday 14 November 2007.

Eurostar confirmed that it will move its London terminal overnight in order to minimise disruption to travellers, with a full timetable at Waterloo International continuing until 13 November 2007.

The move to a new station in central London, served by the UK’s first high-speed line, now named High Speed 1, will cut journey times between London, Paris and Brussels by an average of between 23 and 25 minutes.

Fastest travel times between the centres of London and Paris will come down to just 2 hours 15 minutes; London - Brussels to 1 hour 51 minutes; and London – Lille will be only 1 hour 20 minutes.

High Speed 1, which runs between St Pancras International and the Channel tunnel, is a dedicated high-speed railway that means services will be even more reliable. Eurostar expects to further improve on its punctuality of more than 90 per cent, already significantly better than the airlines.

Eurostar travellers will have connections to seven mainline rail services at St Pancras, King’s Cross and nearby Euston stations, and six London Underground lines, providing links across the UK and making St Pancras International one of the foremost rail hubs in Europe.

Richard Brown, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said: “This move will be the most significant event in Eurostar’s history since we started running passenger services 12 years ago today. It will mark the start of a new era in travel between the UK and mainland Europe, making high-speed rail an even faster, more reliable and less environmentally damaging alternative to flying.

“St Pancras International will be a stunning, newly restored station in the heart of London, with connections fanning out across the country that will make Eurostar accessible to millions of new travellers. We will be competing head on with regional airports, with comparable city centre-to-city centre journey times, much greater frequencies, and highly affordable through fares.”

Independent research commissioned by Eurostar has shown that flying between London and Paris or Brussels generates ten times more carbon dioxide emissions than taking Eurostar. A return flight produces enough CO2 to fill a double-decker bus, while a return rail trip generates only enough CO2 to fill a Mini.
  
Eurostar’s Chief Executive Richard Brown added: “Taking the train, not the plane, for travel to Europe is one of the key ways we can all reduce our impact on climate change. From St Pancras International, Eurostar will be seamlessly connected into the high-speed rail network that is growing across Europe, which by 2008 will slash journey times between London and cities such as Amsterdam, Cologne and Strasbourg by between 20-30 per cent.” 

The international terminal at Waterloo will be returned to the Government, which has promised to re-use the platforms to reduce congestion for domestic commuter trains. Travellers who currently access Eurostar services via domestic rail into Waterloo will have a wide choice of quick connections to St Pancras International, and none should face longer door-to-door journey times than at present.
 
Eurostar will also be launching services from Ebbsfleet International, a new station just off junction 2 of the M25, close to the Bluewater shopping centre near Dartford in Kent. Journey times to Paris and Brussels will be 10 minutes quicker still than from St Pancras International.

Ebbsfleet International serves a catchment of more than 10 million people, and will be attractive to some existing Eurostar travellers from south of London and new customers from north of the capital who may currently fly to continental Europe.  Ebbsfleet International along with Eurostar’s existing station at Ashford International will complement each other and combined they will provide an extra 45% more services from Kent.

For more information visit  www.eurostar.com


Motorcyclists asked to help cut accident toll

Thursday 16 November 2006

North Yorkshire is on course for its lowest number of motorcycle fatalities for several years - but a senior officer warned that riders still need to work together with Police to stop the year ending in tragedy.

Assistant Chief Constable David Collins said: “Riders across the region have taken on our message that enjoyable riding need not be dangerous riding, and have responded responsibly in their thousands. That’s great, and needs to continue right through to the end of the unusually extended leisure riding season. “My fear is that the late start to Autumn is resulting in massive numbers of riders coming to enjoy North Yorkshire’s roads long after the traditional leisure riding season is over - and they are not aware of the dangers that can lie on the county’s thousands of miles of rural roads.”

Unseasonal hazards that may catch out riders are:

* Blind corners coated in wet, slippery leaves

* Ice patches lurking in shadows, even on sunny days

* Standing water lying in the dips of swooping roads

* Almost invisible black ice

* Road users unaware that there are still many motorcyclists out enjoying the country roads - some of them travelling fast

11 riders have died on the county’s road this year. 20 had died by the same time in 2005. Sales of powerful sports bikes have continued to boom throughout 2006, and more riders than ever before have visited the county to enjoy its scenery and fine riding areas. Despite this, NYP’s continuing get-tough policy has paid dividends. But, said Mr Collins, “there is still no cause for celebration. 11 families, 11 groups of friends, 11 groups of colleagues, and many more acquaintances and fellow motorcyclists are bereaved. Their lives have changed irreversibly because of those 11 dreadful accidents.

“We don’t want anyone else to go through that sort of pain and loss, and that is why I am asking riders to be especially careful throughout this Indian Summer.” And he reminded riders and drivers that North Yorkshire Police operate a 24/7 hard-line policy with speeders and anti-social road-users. He said: “We want visitors to enjoy our county and its scenic roads, but we will not tolerate those who speed and ride or drive dangerously, or those who spoil other people’s enjoyment and peace.”


Crackdown on Illegal Offroaders

Tuesday 19 December 2006

    
Illegal off-road motorbikers and car drivers are being targeted in a Christmas crackdown by police and Rangers from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA).
North Yorkshire Police officers and the Rangers have been out checking on the illegal use of National Park footpaths and bridleways by motorcyclists and 4x4 users.  Police are also acting where vehicles are found not to be road legal or where the rider has no insurance or other documentation.
Mark Allum, the YDNPA’s Access Project Officer, said: “Illegal use of footpaths and bridleways in the National Park can cause damage to the environment as well as annoyance and disruption to other users."
“These joint patrols have already proved successful this winter with two motorcyclists being taken to court, and one issued with a formal caution and section 59 warning – meaning that a repeat offence will result in the vehicle being seized." 
“In the Hawes area a motorcyclist was found to have no insurance and the vehicle was seized, and four others were issued with fixed penalty fines for vehicle defects.”
Staff and volunteers at the National Park have received witness and evidence gathering training from North Yorkshire Police.
As a result, the number of reports of infringements has increased, with good quality evidence being produced such as photographs and statements which enables the police to positively deal with this type of incident. 
There are currently three offences being investigated as a result of this type of evidence being produced.
Mark said: “We will be continuing these checks throughout the Christmas and New Year period in different areas of the National Park.”
The police would also welcome reports of incidents from members of the public. These should be handed into local police stations in Grassington, Settle, Ingleton and Leyburn.

Growing the Railways in Yorkshire and Humber

Thursday 09 November 2006

Transport 2000 is launching "Growing the Railways" , a manifesto for rail growth in the Yorkshire and Humber region, on Friday 15th December

Railways are key to the prosperity, regeneration and growth of the Yorkshire and Humber - key to promoting accessibility and social inclusion across the region; key to businesses, jobs and infrastructure, and key to the environment and enhancing people’s quality of life.

Rail connects the region to international and national markets, via access to ports and airports, and provides crucial links to the key City Regions of York, Leeds and Sheffield, allowing access to employment, business and leisure activities.

However, rail in the region suffers a legacy of congestion and crowded trains on key routes, and carries only a fraction of its full potential of both passengers and freight. Parts of the network are already at capacity and desperately need expanding to free the region of bottlenecks once and for all.

Transport 2000 is launching "Growing the Railways" on Friday 15th December. With key speakers and support from train operating companies, local government and MPs – the launch will be the starting point for getting rail moving in Yorkshire and Humber.

The launch will be held 10am – 11am, in Leeds, venue TBC

For more information contact Julia.Thomas@transport2000.org.uk


Taking the chills out of winter driving

Thursday 09 November 2006

      

Drivers 'chilled' by the prospect of travelling alone in winter can boost their confidence with a pioneering driving course offered by North Yorkshire County Council's road safety team. The lone winter driving course will teach drivers to take a look under the bonnet, check oil and other fluid levels and look for signs of leakage or faulty components, and learn how to check and change a tyre.

It also covers useful techniques for driving in the rain, fog, ice and snow and what you can do if you involved in an accident.

Participants are also invited to take part in an optional second module – an advanced driver training day run by ‘Driverskills.com’ at Elvington, near York.  This hands-on, in-car training will teach skid control and avoidance at both high and low speeds.

The ‘skid car’ is a normal family hatchback fitted with lower grip tyres and handles in the same way that a normal vehicle would in slippery conditions. 

It allows the participants to develop skills that can be applied directly to their own vehicles.  Driverskills.com even wets one of the bends to create a change of grip to emulate real road conditions.

“As the days get shorter and the weather deteriorates, driving can be a very a frightening prospect – especially so if you’re going it alone,”

“This course is a fun way of meeting people, building confidence and learning some important skills that might one day save your life.”

“Armed with the knowledge and training this course provides, even if the worst happens to you and you’re involved in an accident, you’ll know what to do about it.”

The first part of the lone winter driving course is free and takes place at the Hambleton Forum starting at 10am and running until approximately 12pm on November 18.

The skidpan training   - which is a half day course - will be charged at special rates and can be booked at the Hambleton Forum on the day.

To book your place on the lone winter driving course, please contact John Everson North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety projects officer, on 01609-533086.


Campaign Group launches Initial Feasibility Report into the re-opening the Skipton and Colne Line

Thursday 09 November 2006

The campaigning group SELRAP (Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership) recently launched its Initial Feasibility Study into the re-opening of the railway line between Skipton and Colne. Copies have been sent to local MPs, councillors and other interested parties as well as the Strategic Rail Authority in London.
The report was compiled after SELRAP members walked as much of the former trackbed as was accessible, assessing its state 31 years after the railway closed.

SELRAP’s chairman, Steve Broadbent, said: “We were delighted to see the excellent condition the trackbed is in, given the number of years since the trains last ran on the line. We encountered no surprises or unexpected difficulties at all, and our aims of protecting the former Skipton-Colne railway trackbed from development and then seeing it re opened as a trans-pennine rail link.have been given another boost by these findings.”

The 11-page report highlights the three obvious problems there will be in re-instating the railway - the area immediately to the west of Skipton, the bridge over the Leeds & Liverpool canal, and the crossing of Vivary Way in Colne - and estimates a two-track railway could reconnect Colne with Skipton for around £28 million.

“We now plan to take our campaign another step forward with a public meeting in Colne, details of which will be announced shortly,” said Steve Broadbent. “Here we will explain our findings in more detail and will hope to enlist new supporters to our cause, to supplement the excellent group we have established in the past six months.”

For more information see the Skipton-East Lancashire Rail Action Partnership web site.


Northern rail unveils work of art as part of safety campaign

Tuesday 12 December 2006

        
The Big Picture measures 4.5 by 6.6 metres and is made up of 345 individual pieces of artwork, which when viewed from afar, form one large image depicting scenes from across Northern Rail’s network.
The artists are all students at primary and secondary schools in the North of England and some of them were on hand at the unveiling. The Big Picture will form part of a growing display in the Great Hall at the National Railway Museum, York for a period of 12 months and will potentially be seen by some 750,000 visitors.
Unveiling the Big Picture, Heidi Mottram, Managing Director, Northern Rail said: “I hope that visitors to the museum will enjoy the Big Picture, and the other artwork on display here.
“The Big Picture shows scenes from across our vast network. From picturesque rural villages to bustling inner cities, our services and our people are an integral part of the communities we serve and it is a role we take very seriously. We work closely with them to ensure that the services we provide really do meet their needs.
“Graffiti has a major impact on our services and our operation but more importantly attempting to produce graffiti on or near to the railway can put youngsters in real danger. NorthernArt is a powerful addition to our ongoing programme of work within schools and local communities to discourage young people from crime and antisocial behaviour on the railways. Through NorthernArt we aim to encourage a feeling of self worth in young people by showcasing their artwork and giving them therecognition they deserve.”
Andrew Scott, Head of the National Railway Museum said: “The National Railway Museum is delighted to be working in partnership with Northern Rail on the ArtZone project. This is a real opportunity to engage young people and showcase their work, and we are proud to be part of it.
“Northern ArtZone has been installed on the temporary hoarding erected to protect our visitors from the building works taking place in the Great Hall. A new state of the art, accessible research and archive centre is being created behind the hoardings, which will provide the opportunity for more people than ever before to use our currently hidden collections for lifelong learning. By the autumn of 2007 members of the public will be able to turn up, without an appointment, and have their questions answered and exhibits produced directly from the archives for them to explore.”
The Big Picture is part of NorthernArt, a new community initiative from Northern Rail that aims to divert young people from anti-social behaviour such as graffiti into art based activities that will benefit themselves and their local community.
NorthernArt encourages young people to send their 2D artwork to www.northernartzone.net where it will be showcased in an online gallery for all to see. Northern Rail is pioneering the use of the artwork on posters, corporate literature and eventually the exterior of trains. Other organisations and companies will also have the opportunity to access the artwork for use on publicity materials as long as they credit the artist with their work.

Think before you buy a mini motobike for Christmas

Thursday 21 December 2006

The Government and the National Governing Body of motorcycle sport in the Country, the Auto-Cycle Union are calling on parents considering buying a mini motorbike for Christmas for their child to stop and think before they buy.

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Auto Cycle Union (ACU) want parents to think about the consequences of what might appear to be exciting presents but in reality is often a bigger danger than expected.

Dr Stephen Ladyman, Road Safety Minister and himself a keen motorcyclist warns:

"These bikes may be thought of as 'toys', but they are not. They are fully-fledged motor vehicles; some are capable of travelling at speeds of up to 40mph. While some versions are well made, others, which may seem good value for money, are poor quality and require a high level of maintenance to be kept in a safe condition.

"The vast majority of these machines cannot and must not be used on the roads or in public areas. While they can be a great deal of fun if used sensibly, irresponsible use can and has had fatal consequences. And don't forget if you break the law, they will be seized by the police and crushed."

It is important that parents remember that these bikes are only for use on private property and with the permission of the landowner. Housing estates, footpaths, parks and playing fields are not to be used and anyone caught using a mini bike in these areas risk having their machine confiscated and receiving a fine.

If you do want to get a mini-motorbike for your child, look for a properly-supervised off-road area where he or she can be trained to ride in safety. Make sure that riders wear appropriate clothing and a helmet. Remember too that the bike must be transported (whether in a trailer, van or car boot) to that supervised area.

The ACU believe that if used in a safe and legal environment they can provide hours of entertainment, and a valuable learning experience. Guidelines are provided by the ACU for Local Authorities to create mini bike clubs and provide training so that a child can have fun and learn useful skills in a safe and secure environment.

Dave Luscombe, Head of ACU's Local Authority Support Unit (LASU) said:

"LASU are working with many Authorities across the Country in providing legal areas for owners of minimoto's and off road motorcycles. These areas in which clubs/projects are now up and running have seen a 90% reduction in the number of complaints of illicit/illegal riding."

Rev and Go, based in Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire is a good example of how local clubs can encourage the use of mini motorbikes in a legal environment and train children and young people to use them responsibly and safely.

The group is the brainchild of, Daniel Hegarty who says:

"My interest in motorbikes began from a very young age. When I was twelve I realised that I got a buzz from riding motorbikes like many other lads my age. I knew that I wanted to make a career out of riding motorbikes but to me it was only a dream. My passion for riding mini-moto's meant that on occasions I had the chance to ride them illegally around the streets without all the right safety gear.

"This was something I didn't want my friends and I to have to choose. I took the decision, with help from supporters, to start a club to ride off road and legally. It was hard work but it was the best thing that I ever did. It opened up opportunities that riding illegally would have prevented. If I had gone down the dodgy road then I wouldn't be on my way to better things like I am now. I have come from being a noisy kid in the field to competing with the big boys in the British Superstock Championships; a dream which if I'd made the wrong choice would never have come true."

Craig Carey-Clinch from the Motor Cycle Industry Association said:

"MCI endorses this DfT initiative. Mini-bikes and other motorcycles for use on private property are not 'toys' but motor vehicles, where use demands observance of user legal responsibilities. This means only riding on private land with the landowner's express permission. MCI strongly supports properly organised off road riding areas as a way of engaging young people and allowing a motorcycling experience in a structured environment. Young people should become involved with this and find out more about the exciting off road motorcycle sport opportunities which can lead from becoming involved in a safe and legal way."


Combined Rail and Bus ticket makes visiting Grassington's Dickensian Festival by public transport even easier.

Sunday 19 November 2006

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is encouraging visitors to Grassington’s popular Dickensian Festival to leave their cars at home and travel by train and bus.
This year for the first time visitors to Festival will be able to take advantage of the new combined rail and bus tickets which enables travellers to purchase one ticket from stations in West Yorkshire and travel by train to Skipton and then by bus to Grassington to enjoy the festival.
Saturday services to Grassington include: – Service 72, which runs hourly from Skipton Rail Station and Service 74, two-hourly from Ilkley Rail Station.
In addition to these buses which run every Saturday special direct bus links are being operated by Arriva Yorkshire and will provide direct services to the event on Saturday December the 2nd, 9th and 16th.
For timetables see www.yorkshiretravel.net  or phone 0870 608 2 608.
The Grassington Dickensian Festival is held throughout the village from 11am to 5pm on each of the days and is an old fashioned market with entertainment including bands, choirs, buskers and a variety of stalls. A torchlight nativity procession will be held in the late afternoon.

This year on Saturday 2nd of December there will be a special appearance of Cairngorm Reindeers who have travelled all the way from the Cairngorm National Park in Scotland especially to pull Santa Clauses sleigh through the streets of Grassington.

Andy Ryland, the YDNPA Transport and Visitor Management Officer, said:
“Each year we have been improving the transport options to get to the festival and with the introduction of the combined rail and bus tickets we have made it even easier to get to the festival without your car. This is certainly an occasion when it makes sense to use public transport as there will be no public car parking in Grassington during the festival apart from spaces for those with a disability or the Park & Ride car park which is located at Swinden Quarry on the B6265. South of the village”
The additional direct services are:
Service 805:
Wakefield Bus Station (0825),  Leeds City Bus Station (0830), Headingley opposite the Arndale Centre (0845), Otley Bus Station (0905), Burley Station Road (0912), Grassington National Park Centre (NPC) (1000).  Return from Grassington NPC1720.
Service 800: Leeds City Bus Station (0855), Horsforth Fleece Hotel (0912), Rawdon Crossroads (0918), Guiseley White Cross (0924), Burley Station Road (0932), Grassington NPC (1020). Return from Grassington NPC (800 at 1730 and 805 at 1720).

GNER trains more punctual than planes

Thursday 16 November 2006

Research shows that travelling on GNER's high-speed trains is consistently more reliable than domestic air travel.

An analysis of performance data from industry regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and GNER reveals that during the first six months of 2006 almost 93 per cent of GNER trains arrived on time versus a 78 per cent right-time arrival record for air travel.

The data compared GNER punctuality with domestic air travel performance between the London and Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh routes on a monthly basis between January and June 2006 inclusive.  Rail delivered better punctuality than air on all three routes.

On the Leeds to London route an average 96 per cent of trains were on time, compared to 87 per cent of flights.

For journeys between Newcastle and London almost 93 per cent of GNER trains were on time compared to 73 per cent of planes. 

Passengers travelling between Edinburgh and London with GNER also experienced a more reliable journey, with 90 per cent of trains arriving on time compared to 73 per cent of planes.

Compared to the same period last year (January to June 2005) GNER's on-time record improved by 7 per cent, whilst average air punctuality only increased by 4 per cent.

Angela McKenzie, GNER public relations manager, said: "This independent research shows that the punctuality of rail travel on key routes to and from London continues to improve and is consistently better than domestic air travel.

"When taking reliability, city-centre to city-centre journey times, add-on costs and convenience into consideration, rail offers a very competitive alternative to domestic air travel.  Additionally, GNER's innovative on-board internet WiFi service, combined with the £30m 'Mallard' train rebuild enhancements such as at-seat powerpoints, has created a truly mobile office, turning train travel time into more productive working or leisure time."

Today's independently-compiled report is part of a series of six-monthly 'Travel Calculator' surveys, commissioned by train operator GNER, which are intended to provide balanced information to help travellers to make more informed travel choices.


Winter bus keeps rolling in the Dales

Tuesday 26 September 2006

 A popular Yorkshire Dales bus service will again be kept on the road during the winter months – thanks to a partnership between two local organisations.
Dales Bus service 805 links West Yorkshire with Upper Wharfedale, Bishopdale and Wensleydale and runs every Sunday throughout the year.
North Yorkshire County Council funds the service in the summer months, but not during the winter.
That’s when the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group step in to keep the wheels rolling.
Andy Ryland, the YDNPA’s Transport and Visitor Management Officer, said: “I am delighted that, working together with the Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group, we have continued to be able to provide a winter Sunday bus service from West Yorkshire to the Dales.
“I know through speaking to users of the Dales Bus services how much they appreciate being able to get out of the city and enjoy healthy exercise in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. The winter Sunday service has been growing in popularity and the buses always seem to attract a good crowd.”
User Group Chairman Howard Handley said, “This is the third year that we’ve joined with the National Park Authority to ensure that this popular service can keep running throughout the year. Many people wouldn’t be able to enjoy the changing seasons in the Dales without this service, so we’re really pleased to be able to provide a bus every week.
“We hope that, this year, even more people will take the opportunity to leave their cars at home or at the National Park car park in Grassington and enjoy a stress-free day out in the Dales. There are lots of walks to do throughout the year, as well as many welcoming pubs and cafes for Sunday lunch.”
This year the bus starts in Wakefield at 0845 and runs via Leeds (0915), Otley (0948) and Ilkley (1005) up Wharfedale into the heart of the Dales. Popular attractions passed en route include Bolton Abbey and Aysgarth Falls, as well as the villages of Burnsall, Grassington, Kilnsey, Kettlewell and Buckden. The bus terminates in Hawes – home to the Wensleydale Creamery and the  YDNPA’s Dales Countryside Museum – and returns home from the village at 1530 and from Grassington at 1655.
The winter service runs every Sunday from 1 October 2006 until 1 April 2007 (excluding 24 and 31 December), and also on Wednesday 27 December and Tuesday 2 January.
People living in the Keighley or Skipton areas can also join this service by catching a connecting bus on service 67A to/from Grassington. This service from Keighley to Grassington runs hourly throughout the day on Sundays, leaving Keighley at 0945 and every hour until 1545, returning from Grassington at 1055 and hourly until 1655.
The YDNPA has also teamed up with local walking group Dalesbus Ramblers to provide a programme of free guided walks from the buses. Details are contained in a leaflet available in local information centres and online at www.dalesbusramblers.org.uk.
Full details of the bus services are available at local travel and YDNPA information centres, by calling -Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 or by visiting www.dalesbus.org or www.traveldales.org.uk

User Group Celebrates birthday

Thursday 14 September 2006

The Yorkshire Dales Public Transport Users Group celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

 To celebrate this landmark a special full-colour edition of the group's newsletter, Wheels in Motion, has been produced, including a review of the last ten years. To download a copy click here (note this is a 1.8MB PDF file). A special anniversary social event for members will be held on the 30th September.

The Group now has almost 400 members, but is keen to encourage more people to join, and help support public transport in the Dales. Further details of the Group and a membership form are available from the groups web site http://www.dalesbus.org/ .


Two Additional Mountain Biking Guide Books to the Dales Launched

Thursday 14 September 2006

        
Vertebrate Graphics of Sheffield have just produced two additional mountain biking guide books to supplement their guide to the Southern Dales launched earlier in the year.
Yorkshire Dales Mountain Biking - The Northern Dales is a compact, comprehensive guide to the best riding in the North of the area.
For an example of the content of the Reeth and Reeth Moor route click Here
Vertebrate Graphics third offering is their Guide to Off-Road Trails & Quiet Lanes – Cycling in the Lake District & Yorkshire Dales  .   This is a guidebook for the leisure cyclist, the family rider and the enthusiastic mountain biker.
It is for the cyclist who values fun, views and lunch stops over grimaces, effort and aching legs and is ideal for those wanting to use cycling to get fit – in short, it is a book of enjoyable bike rides.
Twenty cycle routes, from 5 to 23km in length, explore the best traffic-free lanes and off-road trails of two of Britain’s most cycle-friendly national parks.  To see a sample of one of the routes near Ingleton on the Yorkshire Dales click Here.
A number of routes stick entirely to quiet roads while others tackle rocky mountain bike trails as they explore hidden valleys and climb to stunning viewpoints. Never too long, too difficult or too remote, the rides are great fun and challenging for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Whether you are a keen rider or part of an enthusiastic family of cyclists, these rides are your route to exploring two of Britain’s greatest national parks.
Ridden and written by a local rider, these rides are clearly described using step-by-step instructions and feature original maps, route profiles and local area information.

Winter Bus Timetable continues until 1st April

Sunday 03 September 2006

The first of the network of extra summer bus routes into the Dales start running at Easter weekend, but the all-year network still provides easy access to the Dales, even on Sundays.
DalesBus 805 from West Yorkshire to Hawes is again running every Sunday throughout the Winter months.

The Winter bus runs at exactly the same times as the summer bus, starting in Wakefield at 0845, then running via Leeds (0915), Otley (0948) and Ilkley (1005) before heading up Wharfedale into the heart of the Dales. Popular attractions passed en route include Bolton Abbey and Aysgarth Falls, as well as the villages of Burnsall, Grassington, Kilnsey and Kettlewell. The bus returns home from Hawes at 1530 and from Grassington at 1655. 

The Winter service runs every Sunday until 1st April 2007.

If you live in the Keighley or Skipton area you can also join this service by catching a connecting bus on service 67A. This service from Keighley to Grassington continues to run hourly throughout the day on Sundays, leaving Keighley at 0945 and every hour until 1545, returning from Grassington at 1055 and hourly until 1655. Dales Rover tickets are available on services 67A and 805, as well as on the Sunday buses on route 24. However in most cases you’ll find that a day return ticket offers better value in the Winter months, when there are less opportunities to connect between different services.

The Sunday bus network in the Dales therefore comprises the following routes over the Winter months:

24 Harrogate - Pateley Bridge

67A Keighley - Skipton - Grassington

156/157 Northallerton - Leyburn - Hawes

805  Wakefield - Leeds - Grassington - Hawes

Weekday bus routes generally continue unchanged throughout the year, providing regular services in the main Dales. For times see www.yorkshiretravel.net


How cycling can save the NHS

Wednesday 27 September 2006

Cash spent on cycling and walking could save the NHS huge amounts of money and help defuse the obesity “time bomb”, according to research published today by sustainable transport charity Sustrans. Its analysis of the economic benefits of a number of local walking and cycling schemes reveals that every £1 spent on a route generates a benefit worth £20, compared to the slimmer average return of other transport schemes such as rail and roads, which is typically £3 for every £1 spent.

The research is timely. As the Department of Health searches for ways of getting people in the UK more active, Sustrans' research takes the Government's own methods of assessing the benefit to cost ratio of transport schemes. The findings highlight how money spent on creating an environment that encourages and enables walking and cycling directly saves NHS, and other spending, on preventable deaths from illnesses attributed to physical inactivity such as coronary heart disease, stroke and colon cancer.

The benefit to cost ratio is calculated by attributing a monetary value to a number of factors, from public health benefit (ie the cost saving of a healthier population), the savings to employers whose fitter workforce take less time off, and the time saved through shorter journeys, particularly during the school run peak periods. The costs include the investment costs of safe routes, maintenance expenditure, and losses to the Treasury that might result from tax revenue decreases due to reduced fuel sales as people switch from using their cars to walking and cycling.

Sustrans has found that, by applying the same evaluation processes used by the Government to decide on transport projects from heavy rail to road improvements, recently constructed walking and cycling routes have a combined benefit to cost ratio of about 20:1. This is in contrast to a typical ratio of around 3:1 for a road or public transport scheme. For example the high profile £15 billion London Cross Rail project has a ratio of 2:1 and motorway improvement schemes often have a benefit value that is significantly lower than the cost.

The three walking and cycling routes in the study link schools and communities to the National Cycle Network in Liverpool, Hartlepool and East Sussex and cost £1.7 million to develop and build, but their benefit value is almost £33.5 million.

As the Government prepares its Comprehensive Spending Review, Sustrans is calling for a radical rethink of how funds are allocated, with more money being channelled into schemes that improve health, reduce travel times and give an overall better quality of life – all of which deliver real economic benefits. Such a move would save taxpayers millions of pounds while improving public health and the environment.

Philip Insall, director of Sustrans' Active Travel programme says: “We believe that our results prove something we have known for many years - walking and cycling routes represent massive value to the nation's health and public purse. And we believe that our results are conservative. The Government's evaluation of roads fails to include their environmental impact. Likewise, neither have we for these walking and cycling schemes. Obviously this would significantly increase the benefit ratio as walking and cycling are the least environmentally damaging ways to travel.

“As Government is, quite rightly, tackling obesity and public health in a cross-departmental way our figures show how important it is to focus on transport investment. They demonstrate that the initial DfT investment was a wise one, it has probably outperformed any other investment they have made this century. And they clearly show that by shifting some of the thousands of millions of pounds earmarked for expanding the road systems to schemes that improve the local environment for cycling and walking we can improve the nation's health, cut congestion and tackle climate change all at once. So what are we waiting for?”


Book urges walkers to leave their cars behind and discover the hidden beauty of the Yorkshire Dales

Wednesday 13 September 2006

The Germans have a word 'Zielwanderung', which literally means walking with a destination or purpose, point-to-point. It seems a sensible notion that walking should be about getting from A-Z but as Colin Speakman, the man who gave us the Dales Way, explains in his new book ‘Green Networks of the Dales’ this is increasingly rather a radical notion in terms of walking for leisure, where, almost invariably, the start and end point for any published walk in the countryside is that most uninspiring setting - the car park. Colin argues that to truly experience the richness, vastness and complexity of a great landscape such as the Yorkshire Dales, it is necessary to break away from our cars and the circular walks that depend on them - and which restrict us. This is where ‘Green Networks of the Dales’ comes in. Published by Great Northern Books Limited, the book presents a series of twenty superb, middle-distance linear walks in the Yorkshire Dales, which, as far as the author is aware, have never before appeared in print.
The walks, all between twelve and twenty-five miles and beautifully illustrated with the author’s own photographs and extracts from Harvey Maps, have been deliberately selected to tie in with towns or larger villages with facilities for walkers, including overnight accommodation in hostels, guest houses or camp sites. Most importantly, the walks also tie in with good quality public transport. This means that that they can, in most cases, be done as day walks or split into comfortable, shorter stages with convenient available return buses or trains. Through this book, walkers will rediscover ancient linear routes, linking dales along tracks that retain their grass-covered or crudely cobbled surfaces, little changed since the days when packhorses carried produce to markets or river ports. It provides a magnificent way of beginning to understand the landscape, the settlement and land use patterns, the relationship of villages with their market towns.
It is possible to combine walks or use convenient link paths at appropriate points to create wider route choice - true flexibility and freedom denied the motorist. Or several walks can be combined, end to end, over several days, to create a remarkable series of cross-dale walks, for example from Otley to Ingleton or Dent; from Hellifield to Kirkby Stephen; from Skipton to Reeth; from Settle to Ripon. Some sections of the Nidderdale Way have been incorporated into two routes in Nidderdale, offering a high-quality, way-marked and well maintained route through the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, an area where otherwise there can be problems. The same is true of part of the Harrogate Dales Way link between Fewston and Harrogate.
  
Colin Speakman explained the idea behind the book:
‘Very few guidebook writers will bother to tell you that you can in fact almost always get to the start of a walk by bus or train. This is despite the fact that around a quarter of the population live in households that don't have a car, and even more don't have access to a car if it is in use by another member of the household or don't have a driving licence.  In any other field of activity, such discrimination against a large minority of the population would be severely censured - and rightly so.
‘Yet even if you can get to the start of the walk on a bus, you are still having to do a walk which is designed specially for motorists - a circular walk designed to bring the walker back safely to the security of the parked vehicle. This is actually a huge constraint, a contradiction of the alleged 'freedom' of the car, acting almost like an invisible umbilical cord that attaches you, physically and physiologically, to that little piece of your home on wheels. Getting back to the security of your car becomes a very necessary part of the day out.’ 
Commenting on the book, the Yorkshire Dales Society President - the comedian, writer, broadcaster and conservationist - Mike Harding, says:
‘One of the things I always meant to do was put together a book of linear walks so that instead of having to walk in a circle back to where I’d left the car, I could get trains or buses back to where I started. Now Colin Speakman has saved me the trouble and a fine book it is too.’

Andy Ryland, Transport & Visitor Management Officer, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority adds:
‘Besides promoting linear walking, this is a fine book about the Dales and is beautifully written. It gets you to see the place properly and reveals many of the hidden gems. The Dales and Colin Speakman at their best.’
Green Network of the Yorkshire Dales is published by Great Northern Books in June 2006. Advance copies signed by Colin Speakman can be reserved now on 01274 735056 or email greatnorthernbooks@btconnect.com

Traffic authorities to review local speed limits

Tuesday 08 August 2006

          

New guidance to assist local authorities in setting local speed limits was published today by the Department for Transport.

The guidance, designed to promote greater clarity and consistency, covers the setting of all local speed limits on single and dual carriageway roads where drivers should adopt a different speed to the national limit.

Traffic Authorities have specifically been asked to review the speed limits on all of their A and B roads and implement any changes by 2011.

Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman said:

"Realistic and consistent speed limits help to keep traffic moving freely and safely. Our new guidance encourages lowering speed limits where the evidence warrants it but equally traffic authorities should consider increasing limits if it can be done safely.

"The guidance also encourages traffic authorities to set limits that reflect the road environment and characteristic, and which drivers will instinctively understand."

The new guidance takes account of important road safety developments over the last decade including speed limits in villages and 20mph speed limits and zones. There are no plans to change national speed limits.


More work begins on Pennine Bridleway

Monday 17 July 2006

     

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and the Countryside Agency are carrying out major work to sympathetically construct the newly dedicated Newby Head bridleway and to improve the condition of the Grove Head bridleway and public bridleway No.56 to bring them to a recognised National Trail standard suitable for horse riders, cyclists and walkers.

The aim of the project is to create three sustainable sections of bridleway track ­- about 5 km in total - installing all the associated drainage and landscaping while causing minimal disturbance.  Specialist techniques developed during works on other stretches of the Pennine Bridleway will ensure the best solutions for both Trail users and the environment.

The newly created route will run from the historic Roman road, known locally as Cam High Road, to the B6255 Hawes to Ingleton road.

Gareth Evans, the YDNPA Pennine Bridleway Project Officer, said the Authority would be working with the British Horse Society, Singletraction - which is affiliated to the International Mountain Biking Association - and the local landowners. "We have a unique opportunity to create a new section of bridleway through the magnificent Dales upland landscape," he said. Temporary traffic lights will be in place on the B6255 at Newby Head Farm while improvement work is carried out over the next six months.

At the same time, the YDNPA and the Countryside Agency will start work on important bridleway links between Helwith Bridge and the newly-restored Austwick bridleways network. The work was due to begin in early July and will involve restoration and resurfacing work to existing bridleways between Helwith Bridge and Feizor.

The aim of the project is to restore sympathetically the bridleway tracks, reinstating all gated crossing points and improving parts of the track surface, along the 2km stretch.  Due to existing poor drainage along the walled lane section, a new drainage infrastructure will also be installed. Cathy Bradley, the YDNPA's Pennine Bridleway Technician, said: "We are working with the local landowner and the Environment Agency and by the time the work is finished, users of the bridleway network will see a marked improvement."

The Pennine Bridleway

The Pennine Bridleway is a new National Trail in the north of England, being planned and designed specifically for horse riders, off-road cyclists and walkers to enjoy. It will eventually run from the High Peak Trail in Derbyshire to Byrness, Northumberland, a distance of 560km (350 miles) and is due to be fully open by 2012. 

Its creation has been made possible to date mainly through financial support from the Countryside Agency and a Sport England award of £1.8 million. 

The Trail enters the National Park at Long Preston, weaving through the Dales via Settle, Malham Moor, Feizor, Austwick, Selside, Newby Head and exiting at the Cumbria county boundary above Garsdale. The route runs through some of the most outstanding scenery and wildlife habitats in the Yorkshire Dales National Park including the Ingleborough Complex Special Area for Conservation and Ingleborough National Nature Reserve. This section is due to be opened in 2009.

The 52 mile section through the National Park is being funded by the Countryside Agency, with support from the YDNPA and North Yorkshire County Council, with additional funding from Yorkshire Forward.

The first section of the Trail in the Yorkshire Dales National Park - the Settle Loop - was opened in August last year and has already proved to be a hit with users.

The 10-mile (16km) circuit starts and finishes in Settle and stretches east towards Malham. It was created to provide a day trip excursion for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers wanting to spend time exploring the beauty of the Yorkshire Dales rather than just passing through on their way up or down the Trail. 

The idea for the Pennine Bridleway came from Mary Towneley, who, in 1986, rode from Derbyshire to Northumberland to highlight the state of the country's bridleways.  120 miles of the route are already open stretching from Derbyshire via the moors of Tameside, Oldham and Rochdale up to and including the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop which passes through Rossendale and Calderdale.  For more information on the Pennine Bridleway visit the website at www.nationaltrail.co.uk/penninebridleway.


Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line Railcard

Thursday 27 July 2006

The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line are delighted to announce that Northern Rail have agreed to extend the Dales Railcard scheme to its members.

The "Friends Gold Card" provides members with 1/3rd off travel from Leeds-Carlisle, Leeds-Morecambe and Brampton and Wetheral, as well as special offers.  It costs just £12 per year on top of Friends membership from just £10 (£3 for under 18s). 

There's never been a better time to join the Friends!

To join and obtain a "Gold Card", either:

The Friends are very grateful to Northern Rail for this significant development and hope that it increases the passenger numbers on the line, whilst providing another valuable membership benefit.

There is a £2 additional charge over a Dales Railcard (eligibility for which is postcode-restricted) but this is ringfenced for spending on projects on the Settle-Carlisle line only, and will be apportioned by the Friends, the Settle-Carlisle Railway Development Company and Northern Rail.

The Friends also provide guided walks throughout the year, station shops at Settle and Appleby, volunteer on-train guides on 6 trains per day (handing out line guides and information) as well as looking after many of the stations.  See  About the Friends  for more details. 


Walk This Way - Yorkshire Water Launches New Long-Distance Route

Wednesday 21 June 2006

Renowned walking author Mark Reid has linked up with Yorkshire Water to devise a new 100-mile long-distance walk linking the company's reservoirs from Scar House in the north to Langsett in the south of the region.

A book outlining the first 41-mile section of the route was unveiled on June 16th on the moors above Thruscross, in the Washburn Valley between Harrogate and Skipton.

The Yorkshire Water Way, Volume 1, takes walkers from Kettlewell in the heart of the Yorkshire Dale National Park, over Great Whernside into Upper Nidderdale and into an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, along the shores of Gouthwaite to Pateley Bridge and then on through the Washburn Valley to Ilkley.

Mark is the author of the popular Inn Way series of walking books and, in keeping with his style, the three-day walk also includes fascinating insights into some of the folklore and points of interest along the way - as well as details of pubs and inns which offer food and overnight accommodation.

The second four-day section of the long-distance route - which takes the walker on from Ilkley, through Bronte country, Last of the Summer wine country, to the finishing point at Langsett in the Peak District South Yorkshire - is to be published next year.

"We hope the route will prove to be a popular and valuable addition to the information already made available through the company's web pages. This longer route will appeal to the day walker as well as the back packer, giving guided access to Yorkshire Water's land and more remote and stunning landscapes, encouraging serious walkers to visit. It will also help people who come to our land and reservoirs to understand a little more about the role we play as custodians of the countryside as the largest landowner in the Yorkshire region," said Yorkshire Water's catchment and recreation manager, Geoff Lomas.

"We hope the route will prove to be another feather in Yorkshire's cap and help people who visit our land and reservoirs understand a little more about the role we play as custodians of the countryside and as the largest landowner in the Yorkshire region," said Yorkshire Water's catchment and recreation manager, Geoff Lomas.

"Mark is an excellent guide and we would certainly hope some of the towns, villages, shops and pubs along the way will benefit from an increase in the number of people passing through as they follow the route. And, if it means people learn a little more about our catchment areas and reservoirs and the recreational opportunities they offer at the same time, then we will have achieved what we set out to do."

As well as a detailed description of the route, the book includes useful maps, line drawings and photographs of some of the landmarks along the way.

It also introduces the walker to the story of Jenny Twigg and her daughter Tib - folklore witches that were turned to stone; the story of a bloody murder on the moors and the forgotten village of Scar House,

"I knew some of the pack horse routes and paths along the way already but working with Yorkshire Water opened my eyes to a whole new perspective," said Mark.

"Until you know a little more about them, you tend to think of reservoirs as landmarks in much the same way as you would a particular hill or copse of trees but they are living things which play a huge part, not only in providing us with clean water to drink, but in the way the countryside looks.

"Obviously, the book is meant to be a travelling companion which will help to keep walkers heading the right way - but I hope it will also help people appreciate an important part of the countryside which they may not have given a lot of thought to before."

The Yorkshire Water Way is available in all good book shops, priced at £3.99.



Call for new Transport Fund in National Parks

Thursday 15 June 2006

A survey by the Council for National Parks (CNP) has revealed that several National Park Authorities (NPAs) are cutting their green-transport budgets.  "This trend must be reversed," said Rachel Reeves, CNP's Senior Policy Officer "A new ring-fenced fund  would enable NPAs to build upon and spread the best practice identified through CNP's survey.  It would address social inclusion, promote a healthier lifestyle and reduce climate change."

 "Our report 'Tackling Traffic: Sustainable leisure transport in National Parks an overview of National Park Authority involvement' describes some of the remarkable and innovative green-transport work that is taking place across the National Parks, and provides an overview of action already being taken in each National Park.  However, the potential exists for much more to be done and many of the NPAs require a financial boost in order to strengthen current work."

She continued: "In the face of growing pressure on Park Authority budgets, a number of Authorities are being forced either to trim or significantly cut their green-transport budgets.  This is threatening some of the important work that the NPAs are doing in this area.  Green transport brings with it many social, economic and environmental benefits and Park Authorities must be encouraged to continue to develop and promote car-free tourism as a priority."


As well as requesting a new green-transport fund from government, CNP's report contains various recommendations for National Park Authorities aimed at encouraging them to expand upon the work already being done by NPA's to develop and promote car-free tourism to and within the Parks.


OAP Concessionary Bus Fares

Wednesday 26 April 2006

Pensioners and people with disabilities are entitled to free, local off-peak bus travel from 1st April 2006.

Residents of North Yorkshire and the City of York with a valid pass are entitled to free travel for any journey that starts or finishes in North Yorkshire or the City of York, after 9am on weekdays, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. This includes all Dales Bus services.

Residents of West Yorkshire with a valid MetroPermit are entitled to free travel for any journey that starts or finishes in West Yorkshire, after 9.30am on weekdays, and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. However there are some exceptions for journeys into North Yorkshire:

  • free travel is not available on DalesBus routes 800, 802, 803, 805, 806, 809 or 814
  • free travel is only available as far as Skipton on service 67A (Keighley - Skipton - Grassington), however a special £1 single fare is available for travel beyond Skipton
  • free travel is not available on Pride of the Dales service 74 (Ilkley - Grassington)
  • free travel is only available as far as Tadcaster on Yorkshire Coastliner services

Free travel for pensioners throughout England, as announced in the 2006 Budget Statement, will not be effective until 1st April 2008.


Wharfedale Rail+Bus Tickets

Wednesday 26 April 2006

    Tickets allowing through travel by train and bus into Wharfedale are now available. The new 'Ilkley DalesBus' and 'Skipton DalesBus' tickets allow a day return by train to Ilkley or Skipton, then unlimited travel on the Wharfedale area buses, as far north as Buckden. The tickets cost just £3.00 on top of the Cheap Day Return fare to your chosen station.

The new tickets have been masterminded by Northern Rail and North Yorkshire County Council, with assistance from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, and are one of the first initiatives of the Yorkshire Dales Sustainable Travel Partnership.

The tickets are available to either Ilkley or Skipton Rail Stations from Leeds, Bradford Forster Square and all stations on the Airedale and Wharfedale lines. An added bonus is that the tickets are available anytime. (Cheap Day Return tickets are usually only available after 9.30am on Mondays to Fridays, although there's no time restriction at weekends.)
The tickets are valid on Pride of the Dales bus services 72 and 72R between Skipton, Grassington and Hebden, and service 74 between Ilkley, Grassington and Buckden, on Keighley & District service 67A between Skipton and Grassington and on Reliance Motor Services/ Arriva Yorkshire services 800 and 805 between Ilkley, Grassington and Buckden. One slight limitation is that the Skipton and Ilkley versions of the ticket aren't interchangeable, so you need to return home from the same station.
Example Fares:    

  • Ilkley DalesBus Ticket from Bradford: £5.30
  • Ilkley DalesBus Ticket from Leeds: £6.00
  • Skipton DalesBus Ticket from Leeds: £9.35

Note that the DalesBus tickets can only be combined with Cheap Day Return fares, not any other type of ticket. A half-price child version of the ticket is available, but the tickets cannot be combined with concessionary fares for MetroPermit holders.

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