An ‘insult’ to the elderly

Chorley Hospital
Chorley Hospital

A bus company has been accused of “dumping” hospital patients.

Stagecoach is scrapping its 125 Preston-Chorley-Bolton service to Chorley Hospital from September 1.

The company says the trips are a “diversion” that delay the service as a whole.

Buses will no longer serve the hospital grounds and only stop on the A6.

However, the decision has been slammed.

Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said ways should be explored to keep the hospital service. He stormed: “Surely this seems more reasonable than simply dumping people on the A6.”

And Chorley councillor Kim Snape said elderly people would find the walk a real struggle.

She said: “It is a lot of older people’s only mechanism of getting to the hospital and to stop only on the A6 is an insult to them. I see the bus picking and dropping off a lot of passengers. Is how quick a journey is to be really being prioritised over customer service?”

In a message on its website, Stagecoach announced: “We will no longer be serving Chorley Hospital grounds at any time of day or week. We have conducted extensive surveys at the hospital grounds stop and the delays caused by this diversion do have a serious knock-on effect to the reliability on the rest of the service. Buses will still serve the two stops on the main A6 for those customers travelling to/from Chorley Hospital. We do appreciate that some customers may find it difficult to walk from the main road stops to the main hospital entrance.”

Mr Hoyle said: “I’m astounded the 125 is no longer going to stop at Chorley Hospital. Regardless of other buses, that run is the main service for the hospital. If people have to visit [it] it is because they are ill or need treatment.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “This decision was taken following an assessment of the number of passengers using Service 125, which showed few people were using the service to access the hospital. There are still four buses each hour from Chorley town centre to the hospital.”