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Local people and visitors alike will have the chance to explore Dentdale – and the
surrounding countryside across three counties – by convenient public transport this
summer. After rescuing the threatened Saturday bus service with local funding
in 2011, local enthusiasts and activists have now negotiated a regular bus service
from Dent Station (on the Settle to Carlisle line) along Dentdale to Sedbergh on
Saturdays and Sundays, funded through a Dales-wide initiative.
The Saturday service began on Saturday 7 April and will run right through the year,
making six return journeys during BST and four through the winter months. The
Sunday service will make seven round trips each day but will run only in the peak
tourism months, from Sunday 20 May to Sunday 9 September. The first bus of the
new service ran from Sedbergh to Dent Station last Saturday, leaving the Dalesman
in Sedbergh at 8.25am and arriving at Dent Station at 8.55am, in time to connect
with the first train of the day to Leeds.
Philip Ayers, a veteran of community transport initiatives, has been working
with the Dent organisers and Cumbria County Council and he hopes that the new
services will be used by a wide range of potential passengers: “We’re aiming to
reach local people travelling to and from Sedbergh and Kendal as well as those
wanting to connect to train services elsewhere. Visitors to Dentdale will find
the service ideal if they’re looking for a day out on the scenic Settle to Carlisle
line without using their cars. And the service should also encourage walkers and
tourists from Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria to visit Dentdale, explore the area
and enjoy the scenery, hospitality and attractions of this “hidden” dale.”
The new services are being part-funded by the Dales Integrated Transport Alliance
and will be operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire. The timetable has been
specially designed and extended to give people maximum time to explore Dentdale
and the convenience of fitting in with the Settle to Carlisle line trains in both
directions and right through the day.
Jock Cairns, Chair of Dent Parish Council, has been campaigning for sustainable
transport in the valley for several years: “The Dales ITA funding gives us three
years to establish a regular, well-used and, in all senses of the word, sustainable
bus service along Dentdale at weekends. It will tie into the trains arriving and
leaving Dent Station to make the most of tourism potential and it will also benefit
local residents by providing them with an improved bus service. In that way,
Further information and timetables for the new bus services are online at
www.discoverdentdale.co.uk and at www.dentdale.com or in the Transport and
Roads section at www.cumbria.gov.uk or via Traveline on 0871 200 22 33 and via
www.travelinenortheast.info. There is also a new Dentdale Explorer leaflet,
including train times, tourist information and bus timetables, available along the
Settle to Carlisle line.
Picture shows he first bus meets the first train of the day at Dent Station on Saturday
7 April. Group includes (from second left) Dent Parish Councillors, Peter Knapton,
Jock Cairns (Chairman) and Ken Smith.