THE Saturday 563 bus service between Kirkby Stephen and Penrith with continue until at least the autumn. 

The service runs through Brough, Appleby, Kirkby Thore and Temple Sowerby. 

It was introduced in April 2023 as a pilot scheme to run until July 15. However, it has proved very popular and will now continue to run until at least October. It is provided by Stagecoach with financial support from Kirkby Stephen Town Council and others.

Kirkby Stephen Town Council, at their meeting in June, heard that the service is even more successful than had been expected and does not need the level of subsidy that had been provided. The service is therefore being continued until at least October. The council will review the service in August and hopes that it will be possible to continue it into the winter and even indefinitely. 

The Westmorland Gazette: The 563 bus timetable from Penrith to Kirkby StephenThe 563 bus timetable from Penrith to Kirkby Stephen (Image: Stagecoach)

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The service is used both by locals going to Penrith and tourists visiting Kirkby Stephen. It also links Kirkby Stephen Town Centre with the railway station. 

There are four return trips a day, leaving Penrith bus station for Kirkby Stephen at 7.47, 10.56, 14.25 and 17.00 and leaving Kirkby Stephen Market Street for Penrith at 9.46, 12.06, 15.41 and 18.16. 

Councillor Paul Richardson, the chair of Kirkby Stephen Town Council said: “The Town Council attaches a high priority to maintaining and improving Kirkby Stephen’s public transport links.

"They are important for local people, especially those without cars, who need to travel to other places; but are also important as a way of bringing visitors into the town.

“We are pleased that the 563 Saturday service is so popular and that it is continuing. We have rail connections to Carlisle and Leeds, and bus connections to Barnard Castle, Kendal, Penrith and Sedbergh among other places but we are working to make these connections more frequent.”