A RURAL bus service, which was saved by a group of volunteers after having its funding cut, has celebrated its final day of the season with a packed out bus.

The Friends of the Moorsbus, who saved the service after the North York Moors National Park was forced to cut financial support for the service last year, are celebrating a successful end to the season.

Helen Grundy, from the group, said that keeping the bus service alive has meant that people who may not be able to reach the moors on their own were still able to visit.

She said: “Keeping the bus running this year has meant that hundreds of people have been able to enjoy the area and at the same time put thousands of pounds into the local economy. Many of our passengers either didn’t have a car, or wanted to undertake linear walks in the Moors. If it wasn’t for the Moorsbus, they would not have been able to access this part of our national heritage.”

Charity North York Moors Association provided the group with a grant and combined with donations from local people and businesses, the bus service should be able to increase next year.

Bill Breakell, of the Moorsbus Community Interest Company, said he hopes the bus has helped people to reconnect with the area.

“It has been really heart-warming to hear stories from passengers who have enjoyed the guided walks we’ve run or simply enjoyed visiting attractions and shops in the moors,” he said.

To mark the last operational day of the season volunteers and passengers met to share their views on the service and follow a guided walk around Pickering.

For more information, email friendsofmoorsbus@outlook.com