TRANSPORT planners in North Yorkshire say they have got all bus routes up and running again after local firm stopped trading, throwing public transport across rural areas into disarray.

The county council says it has now finalised permanent transport contracts for the bus services formerly run by the company - including school buses and general routes.

County councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s executive member for integrated passenger transport, said: “We know how vital these bus services are to people’s daily lives and our staff have pulled out all the stops to get alternative providers to operate the services.

“We are now delighted that all of our county council-supported contracted local bus services are permanently up and we have taken over the Malton and Norton town bus service which residents value highly.”

Temporary emergency arrangements were put in place when Stephensons suddenly ceased trading in January. The company operated both school and local bus services under contract to the county council, as well as providing a commercial bus network that was not subsidised by the council.

Now the council’s integrated passenger transport team has confirmed permanent alternative services for school transport and county council-contracted local bus services from February 19.

Among those new arrangements is the Malton and Norton town service, which has not been running since January 19.

No commercial bus company came forward to run the service, so it is to restart but with an amended timetable being run on a commercial basis using one of the county council’s own vehicles.

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