VISITORS to Grassington's Dickensian Festival this coming weekend are being given the chance to leave the car at home and use public transport to get to the event.
For the first time, festival goers can use a new, combined rail and bus ticket to get to the popular attraction.
It can be bought from any train station in West Yorkshire and allows the owner to travel by rail to Ilkley or Skipton and then by bus to Grassington on the three Saturdays - 2, 9 and 16 December.
Backed by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA), the scheme will see Service 72 running hourly from Skipton train station and Service 74 leaving every two hours from Ilkley station.
In addition to these buses which run every Saturday special direct bus links are being operated by Arriva Yorkshire and will provide direct services to the event.
The Grassington Dickensian Festival is held throughout the village from 11am to 5pm on each of the days and is an old fashioned market with entertainment including bands, choirs, buskers and a variety of stalls. A torchlight nativity procession will be held in the late afternoon.
This year there will be a special appearance on 9 December of the Cairngorm Reindeers who will be travelling all the way from the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland especially to pull Santa's sleigh through the streets.
Last year, 20, 000 visitors flocked in to Grassington and again they are being encouraged to join local shopkeepers and dress in period costume for the event.
Andy Ryland, the YDNPA Transport and Visitor Management Officer, said: "Each year we have been improving the transport options to get to the festival and, with the introduction of the combined rail and bus tickets, we have made it even easier to get to the festival without your car.
"This is certainly an occasion when it makes sense to use public transport as there will be no public car parking in Grassington during the festival apart from spaces for those with a disability or the Park and Ride car park located at Swinden Quarry on the B6265 south of the village"
The additional direct services are:
- Wakefield Bus Station (0825)
- Leeds City Bus Station (0830)
- Headingley opposite the Arndale Centre (0845)
- Otley Bus Station (0905)
- Burley Station Road (0912)
- Grassington National Park Centre (NPC) (1000) - Return from Grassington NPC1720
- Leeds City Bus Station (0855)
- Horsforth Fleece Hotel (0912)
- Rawdon Crossroads (0918)
- Guiseley White Cross (0924)
- Burley Station Road (0932)
- Grassington NPC (1020) - Return from Grassington NPC (800 at 1730 and 805 at 1720)
For timetables see www.yorkshiretravel.net or phone 0870 608 2 608.