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From Ilkley Gazette, March 28th, 2018
Written by Claire Lomax

DESCRIBED by many people as one of the most beautiful bus routes in England, from Easter weekend there will be new direct Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday DalesBus bus services through Upper Wharfedale and Wensleydale to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

For summer 2018 the Sunday and Bank Holiday Dalesman 874/875 service will also allow a new circular scenic tour from towns and cities in West Yorkshire through Upper Wharfedale, Wensleydale, Ribblesdale and Malhamdale.

From March 31st, the popular and much-loved Saturday bus service from Ilkley to Bolton Abbey, Burnsall and Grassington will be restored, after a gap of almost six months. A new DalesBus 874 will run direct from Wakefield, Leeds, Otley and Ilkley, and then provide three return trips every Saturday between Ilkley and Grassington, a valuable service for local people and visitors alike, especially welcome to walkers, offering access to The Dales Way and such popular hiking routes as Simon Seat.

From Sunday April 1 and then every Sunday and Bank Holiday until October 21, the popular Dalesman 875 bus service will link Wakefield, Leeds, Kirkstall, Guiseley, and Ilkley with Upper Wharfedale and Wensleydale, calling ay Kettlewell, Buckden, Aysgarth, Bainbridge and Hawes.

Connections can be made from Headingly, Otley and Addingham by catching Dalesman 874 to Buckden before change at Buckden Car Park onto the connecting Dalesman 875.

In addition the Dalesman 875 will also offer for the first time, a new scenic bus trip around the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

After a break in Hawes, passengers can continue on the same bus – now the Ribblehead Ranger 831 to Ribblehead and Settle, where after a stop for afternoon tea, passengers can take the scenic Malham Tarn Shuttle 881 bus across some of the most spectacular limestone country in England via Malham Tarn to Malham.

From Malham there’s plenty of time to catch the Cravenlink 884 for Skipton and Ilkley to connect with service 874 or 875 for Leeds via Otley or Guiseley.

Passengers can also change at Otley for the outward Cravenlink 884 from Bradford, Yeadon, Pool and Otley to Malham, to connect with the Malham Tarn Shuttle for Malham Tarn, Settle, Clapham and Ingleton. From May 7th, there will also be connections at Otley for the Washburndale Pateley Bridge, Lofthouse and Scar House in Upper Nidderdale.

Paul Harrison, chairman of the 300 strong Friends of DalesBus, a voluntary group that supports the DalesBus network, said: "Our services offer important benefits to health and wellbeing by providing an affordable way out of the conurbations of West Yorkshire and Lancashire into the countryside of the Yorkshire Dales."

Around 25 per cent of the population of town and cities do not have access to their own car, and without DalesBus much of the National Park would be totally inaccessible to them.

The Friends also provide a programme of free public guided walks available to DalesBus users on different services, taking place on every Sunday and Bank Holiday throughout the season.

In order to keep prices as low as possible to encourage people of limited means to get out in the National Park for their health and wellbeing, DalesBus are offering a range of cheap day tickets purchasable from the bus driver valid on the whole bus network – from the £12 Dales Freedom Rover valid on all bus services and some connecting First, Transdev and Flying Tiger services. These tickets also allow two children to travel free with each ticketholder, the £7.50 Privilege Rover is available for anyone with senior, student, two for one or Dales Railcard, or Student UD. Senior citizens with passes enjoy free travel on the 874, 875 and 884 but must pay a £4 single fare on the Malham Tarn Shuttle 881.

Full details of all DalesBus services for 2018 are now on the Dalesbus web site –