A new rural bus service funded by Cumbria County Council is taking to the road for the first time next week.
On Wednesday (September 1) Plus Bus 2, serving communities and villages in and around Kirkby Stephen will start operating.
Plus Bus 2 is a partial replacement for the current Upper Eden Plus Bus which stops running on Tuesday (August 31) when the serviceís National Lottery funding comes to an end.
Cumbria County Council has been working with the Upper Eden Plus Bus Committee (UEPBC) which manages and owns the service to look at alternative transport solutions for the area.
The county councilís passenger transport team has analysed passenger trends for those currently using the Plus Bus and, following discussions with the UEPBC and representatives from the parishes and Kirkby Stephen Town Council, it has been agreed that a once-a-week service (running on a Wednesday) is a viable alternative to allow people to continue accessing key services.
And to mark the launch of the new service, a photo/interview opportunity is taking place at Kirkby Stephen station at 10.15am on Tuesday (August 31) where representatives from the county council and the UEPBC will be in attendance.
Plus Bus 2 will connect Crosby Garret, Soulby, Kirkby Stephen, Nateby, Warcop, Great Musgrave, Winton, Hartley and Brough allowing passengers access to shopping and other services such as the library and doctors surgeries.
Brough-based Grand Prix Travel will be providing the new service.
Councillor Tim Knowles, Cumbria County Councilís cabinet member for passenger transport, said: "We know that Plus Bus has provided an important link for rural communities in Upper Eden over the past 10 years, which is why the county council has stepped in to fund a Plus Bus 2 now the serviceís Lottery funding is coming to an end.
"The solution we have developed will ensure people can continue accessing vital services and I hope passengers will carry on using it to make it sustainable."
Media enquiries to media officer John Ballard on 01228 226330.