Details of changes to transport and highways including public rights of way and bus passes.

Social distancing measures

Working with our partners in district and borough councils, the police and the national parks, we’ve put measures in place to help businesses open safely, enable residents to maintain social distancing while shopping and encourage more active travel like cycling and walking.

Find out more on our social distancing and active travel page.

Public rights of way

The Government has issued guidance which makes it clear that public rights of way currently remain unaffected by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, in very limited circumstances where large numbers of people are using such routes, landowners may:

  • tie gates open if it is safe to do so, so that walkers do not need to touch the gate
  • offer an alternative route around gardens and farmyards only where it is safe to do so (where permission has been gained from relevant landowners and the route is safe for users and livestock) provided that the original right of way is maintained
  • temporarily display polite notices that encourage users to respect local residents and workers by following social distancing guidelines and consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools

While these aren’t a lawful closure and people can make their own decision as to whether they want to continue to use the route, you should bear in mind that the landowner has taken this action because they feel there is a risk of transmission.

We would ask that everyone is mindful to people’s concerns and consider avoiding using those paths which pass through gardens and/or pass very closely to agricultural and residential properties if possible.

People should practice social distancing while using rights of way and should not congregate on them. If this is the case the police should be informed who have powers to disperse such groups.

Where residents living near public rights of way have concerns then they should exercise suitable precautions to ensure social distancing from people on the path. They may also want to regularly clean any gate latches or other surfaces on any paths across their property.

Bus times

Most buses are running, but some may be running less often or at different times. Check the most recent timetable with the bus operator.

View the Government advice for travelling on public transport.

COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant Restart

Following the initial funding from 17 March to maintain appropriate bus services for people on the frontline to get to work and for other essential services. The Department for Transport has announced further funding of up to £27.3m per week under COVID-19 Bus Service Support Grant Restart, and the Government has confirmed that the rolling funding will continue until 31 August 2021.

This commitment demonstrates the value placed on bus services to support the restart of local economies, to get people back to work and children back to school and colleges. The funding will allow the increase in bus service capacity while maintaining social distancing.

We have been able to claim some of this grant to support operators who run services under contract to the authority. This is in addition to the amounts paid normally to operators for contracted services and through the English National Concessionary Transport Scheme, which North Yorkshire County Council have maintained at pre-pandemic levels.

Since March 2020 we have claimed £1.2 million, to pay operators to help local bus services and demand responsive services continue.

In North Yorkshire 21 operators have received payments to support 92 services and maintain over 42 thousand kilometres of bus services per week.

Payments to operators for supporting services are listed in the following table.

Number Operator Support provided Number of routes supported
SC18307 East Yorkshire Motor Services £197,227 4
SC18301 Arriva North East  £196,112 3
SY17022 Arriva Yorkshire £147,374 3
CR20902 North Yorkshire County Council Fleet Services  £144,979 37
HA19605 Transdev Harrogate & District £119,665 3
HN19822 Hodgsons Coach Operators £77,644 6
RY20102 Transdev Yorkshire Coastliner £57,817 2
RI19501 Upper Dales Comm Partnership Ltd £48,321 3
  Scarborough Dial a Ride  £44,524 demand responsive
HA19603 Procters Coaches (Dales & District) £41,748 6
CR20909 Transdev Keighley & District Travel  £34,250 1
HN19821 G Abbott & Sons  £26,674 2
CR20921 Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire  £20,980 1
SC18303 Whitby & District Community Transport £15,937 2 + demand responsive 
  Reeth & District Community Transport £15,613 demand responsive
CR16901 Upper Wharfedale Bus CIC £12,186 1
  SCAD £12,151 demand responsive
  Nidderdale Plus £4,567 demand responsive
SY17026 York Pullman Bus Company £4,046 3
RY20109 Ryedale Community Transport £854 7
SY17012 Thornes Independent  £767 5

In addition to the above £17803.50 has been claimed on other allowed restart expenses such as additional bus shelter cleans and providing COVID-19 related signage and marketing.