A NEW volunteer-driven bus service running between Kirkby Stephen and Kendal will start operating next week.

The Western Dales Bus service will provide three return trips between the two towns on Thursdays only.

The new service will leave Kirkby Stephen at 9.30am and give varying stay times enabling a hospital visit or simply a quick shopping trip.

It will allow people from Kendal to access Kirkby Stephen by public transport for the first time since November 2014 following the withdrawal of the Cumbria County Council subsidised 564 service.

Western Dales Bus, formed in 2011, provides community services and operates four scheduled routes driven entirely by trained volunteers. It already runs services between Sedbergh and Kirkby Stephen.