In recent decades there has been a massive increase in car ownership. However, around 20% of families and individuals in the UK do not have access to a car and are therefore dependent on public transport. This percentage is higher among older and younger people and those on lower incomes.
The increase in car use has been accompanied by a decline in public transport services, which has made life more difficult for residents of the Dales who need to travel within and beyond the area to larger centres for services including shopping, schools, hospitals and other purposes, and also for those from outside who want to visit the Dales.
Nevertheless, despite such reductions the Dales still retains a network of conventional and Community Transport bus services, serving most larger villages and market towns, which also link with local train services. There are also the Leeds-Settle-Carlisle and Leeds-Morecambe railway lines, with local stations which offer daily services between the Dales and nearby conurbations. In addition there is the Sunday and Bank Holiday DalesBus network which provides car-free access around the National Park and the Nidderdale AONB, making possible a day or longer visit without a car, especially in the summer months.
The parking of large numbers of cars belonging to both residents and visitors has made Dales villages and other popular areas of the National Park less attractive visually and potentially more dangerous. There can be problems of congestion at times, and traffic can also be a source of air pollution along the busiest roads through the Dales.
Some roads and locations attract large numbers of motorcyclists. Some of these cause noise pollution over considerable distances, and their speed can be dangerous to both riders and other road users.
What we will do
There are many ways to Support our Charity and be a Friend of the Dales, to help keep the Dales special and vibrant for years to come.
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"it's more beautiful than you realise; the people are open and friendly and have time for you; your phone might not work which is a positive as you'll have more time - slow down and enjoy the silence".
Chair: Bruce McLeod
Canal Wharf, Eshton Road, Gargrave, BD23 3PN.
Charity number 515384.Company limited by guarantee number 1822908