Dismay over how North Yorkshire County Council spent £832k shipping development offers

by Marie Rodriguez

Transport campaigners have voiced dismay after North Yorkshire County Council showed it had spent the lion’s percentage of grants to expand revolutionary rural transport answers on replacing vintage cars.

The complaint of North Yorkshire County Council follows claims that the authority is refusing to bear in mind variety of journey answers for rural areas at a little fee to the public handbag, together with demand responsive offerings, which would be capable of meet needs that were now not previously met with the aid of traditional offerings.

The campaigners said the Department for Transport (DfT) had supplied £832,000 to the authority in 2010 and 2011 “for the improvement of neighborhood community shipping offerings.”

Awarding the provide to the authority, the then shipping minister Norman Baker highlighted how the body was already receiving the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant to assist guide the availability of non-business rural services and that the more funding must be used to broaden offerings.

Mr Baker added: “It is for each authority to decide how high-quality to use community delivery and help rural communities so as to get entry to jobs and services, but I would count on authorities do not use this extra DfT sales investment to displace planned expenditure on network transport and supported bus offerings for 2011/12.”

In a reaction to a Freedom of Information Act request via shipping campaigner Barry Connor in 2014, a council assistant director said the authority had continued to guide network transport thru its preferred finances and “the DfT investment continues to be intact.”

When requested remaining week if the DfT investment has been spent, a council spokesman stated it changed into all spent among 2011 and 2016, and that £501,000 of the funding had been used to replace network transport cars.

The council stated the remainder of the funding became spent on service costs, advertising and marketing, assist for automobile schemes and small presents.

Mr. Connor, a former bus company handling director and network shipping consultant, stated: “Effectively, consequently their spending on network transport changed into no more than it’d were if they provider had no longer been acquired from DfT. The council seems to have invoiced themselves.

“The grants were imagined to be extra to normal spending, which will get new schemes off the floor without the want for rural counties to provide extra money. Instead, they used the money to shop for new automobiles.”

The authority’s executive member forget the right of entry to Councillor Don Mackenzie stated the council remained devoted to network transport as a powerful way of connecting our citizens.

He stated: “Retaining a bus community across a vast rural county like ours is crucially vital to people who’ve minimal get admission to to another way of transport.

“For this purpose, we are very supportive of community transport operators. Without them, lots of our bus services could now not exist, because we can’t have the funds to run them and industrial operators would not be interested in them.

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