Lancashire bus routes saved by £2m county bailout

Bus protesters outside Preston County Hall from the Save Our Bus Campaigners and Homeless Not Worthless protestors campaigning.
11th February 2016
Bus protesters outside Preston County Hall from the Save Our Bus Campaigners and Homeless Not Worthless protestors campaigning. 11th February 2016

Lancashire County Council has agreed to invest £2m to support buses in many areas of the county which would otherwise have no public transport.

The fund will support 28 routes to ensure people can get to work, do their shopping, and access education, health and other vital services.

The county council had been due to withdraw funding from 113 routes from April.

Bus companies have decided to operate 40 of these routes on a commercial basis. The decision by the county council to fund a further 28 routes means that 68 of the 113 routes will continue from Monday April 3 on a full or partial basis.

It is proposed that two of the routes serving villages near Chorley and Chorley Hospital be funded jointly with Chorley Council.

A cross-party Cabinet Working Group had been established to consider the impact of the decision by the Full Council to withdraw 113 existing bus contracts from April as part of £65m budget savings.

The group met to consider the response from bus operators to the new contracts being proposed, and made recommendations to go ahead with funding 26 services for 12 months from April.

Following the meeting, the cabinet member made a further decision to support the 24A and 109A services, to be funded in partnership with Chorley Council.

It is proposed that the Chorley services initially be supported for six months.

Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This has been a very difficult process that the all-party working group has had to get to grips with, to make the best of a bad situation. I’m very pleased to accept the working group’s recommendation to fund these bus services.”

You can see full details of the changes at http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/roads-parking-and-travel/public-transport/bus-service-changes