York & North Yorkshire

North York Moors national park to axe MoorsBus and jobs

A bus service linking towns and villages across the North York Moors is set to be scrapped because the national park authority faces a cut in funding.

The proposal to scrap the MoorsBus service at the end of October 2013 is one of a series of measures aimed at saving the national park £1.5m.

Other savings include axing 12 posts and reducing the hours of 15 other staff at the Helmsley-based authority.

Its members are due to make a final decision on 26 September.

'Stubbornly high'

The authority said the proposed changes would enable it to meet a reduction in the funding it receives from government and local authorities.

It said the cost per user of the authority's Moorsbus, which was used by 12,000 people last year, "remains stubbornly high".

"Loss of external funding and increasing operating costs mean that it will no longer be possible to maintain the Moorsbus network beyond 2013," it said.

"There will be a reduction in the number of operating days from 2012 and the service will cease at the end of October 2013."

Conservation 'protected'

Six full-time posts, including one of the directors, and six part-time posts could be made redundant by April 2014.

Fifteen staff are also likely to see a reduction in their working hours or be placed on a lower grade.

Andy Wilson, the National Park Authority's chief executive, said: "We have listened carefully to the public's priorities and done all we can to maximise efficiency and thus protect the most valued services.

"As a result, conservation work and grants will be very largely protected.

"I appreciate that people will be disappointed at the loss of other services but we are facing a real-term reduction in funding of 35%.

"We already have low administrative and staffing costs so reduction in some services is inevitable."

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