New bus services for city hailed

From right to left, Michael Cooper (transport nanager) and Shaun Ingles (traffic manager) of Shaun's Minibuses and Coach Hire. (S)
From right to left, Michael Cooper (transport nanager) and Shaun Ingles (traffic manager) of Shaun's Minibuses and Coach Hire. (S)

The launch of new bus services within Ripon starting in April has been hailed by transport chiefs.

As reported last month, Ripon-based operator Shaun’s Minibuses and Coach Hire will provide routes serving Clotherholme Road, Lark Lane, Lead Lane, Gallows Hill and Aismunderby Road.

Coun Chris Metcalf, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Integrated Passenger Transport, said he hoped Ripon residents would continue to support the “new and improved” service when the existing service, operated by Dales & District Travel, is withdrawn.

“North Yorkshire County Council has been encouraging local operators to come forward and do more where possible to take on and continue commercial services in the county,” he said.

“This new and improved service for Ripon is not subsidised and so we hope local people will support it to ensure its future.”

Shaun McGowan, of Shaun’s Minibuses and Coach Hire, said the service will need to be well used to ensure it continues.

“As a new venture we will be operating some contracted local bus services for the council and at the same time have taken the opportunity to provide an improved service for local people in Ripon,” he said.

“The city service will operate without financial support from the county council so it is important local people use it to make sure it is viable.”

Ripon councillors had raised concerns about the planned withdrawal of the Dales & District service and called on the City Development Manager, Alan Weston, to find support for the service.

He said: “We need to see what there is we can do to promote the service. We will have to work with local residents to ensure they are using that service or the future viability may potentially be threatened.

“One of the gripes made during the Ripon City Plan consultations is the frequency of public transport so this is a positive step in the right direction.”

Shaun’s Minibuses and Coach Hire will take over the service from April 13 with a launch event planned to take place on the market square on Saturday, March 28.

Timetables for the new service will be available from the end of March.