A TAXIBUS service linking hilltop villages is finally being launched after a series of delays.

People in the Colne Valley and Scammonden areas will be able to use the eight-seat vehicles to get buses and trains at Slaithwaite.

Passengers can phone ahead and book the bus before their journey.

It can also divert up to half-a-mile off route to help passengers get closer to home.

Passengers will also be able to phone to make an off-peak journey from door-to-door in the area between Slaithwaite and Outlane and through the hilltops west of Golcar and east of Marsden.

The service is being launched next Monday, two years after £870,000 of Government cash was awarded.

Metro chairman Clr Stanley King said: "The new MetroConnect Colne Valley Taxibus aims to provide a safe, comfortable, friendly, convenient link to the more isolated hilltops.

"It will give people access to trains and mainline buses, work, training and education, health facilities, shops and leisure.

"At the same time, the services will provide walkers, tourists and visitors with easy access to the beautiful countryside around Slaithwaite."

Two easy-access taxibuses will be used for the service.

Each vehicle has a wheelchair lift, seatbelts, roomy aisles and headroom and comfortable seating. They can carry eight passengers, or six plus a person in a wheelchair.

Throughout the day, Monday to Saturday, the service will connect with trains at Slaithwaite for people going to and from Huddersfield.

Services start from Outlane and drop down to Slaithwaite via Pole Moor and Wilberlee or via Scapegoat Hill and Clough Head.

The taxibus observes bus stops but also operates on a hail and ride basis.

In Slaithwaite, the service continues up to Manchester Road, to connect with main road buses.

The taxibus can also divert into Nettleton Hill on demand and there is a school facility to Wilberlee from the north and via Moorside Edge.

Bookings can be made on 01422 833 885.