Extra Richmondshire bus routes to become free for elderly and disabled passengers

County Hall in Northallerton.

A cash-strapped council which is stripping back services to meet statutory requirements looks set to approve providing free transport to ensure patients can reach medical appointments.

North Yorkshire County Council’s leading members have been recommended to consider continue offering services above and beyond the statutory concession of free off-peak travel for older and disabled people on all local buses anywhere in England.

The statutory concession is offered between 9.30am and 11pm, but as the authority launches a new joint scheme with City of York Council, it has been proposed free travel should be offered on a spectrum of services where “a passenger is not likely to reach their service centre, GP, hospital or similar before 11am on a direct service without the exemption”.

Journeys which could be offered free to older and disabled people include the 8.53am Middleton Tyas to Scorton, 8.43am Helperby to York, 8.30am Reeth to Richmond and the 7.50am Hutton Rudby to Northallerton.