Anger as bus route scrapped

Stagecoach bus
Stagecoach bus

Villagers are worried they are being stranded by bus operators after changes to schedules.

The 3/3A service which runs through Adlington, is going to be one of the services facing changes from July 22.

It means that elderly residents living along Factory Lane and Babylon Lane will have to find alternative arrangements to get into Chorley.

Coun Kim Snape, who represents the Adlington ward, is campaigning for the return of the service.

She said: “I, along with Lindsay Hoyle MP, did a petition last September to stop them doing the same thing and was successful in the re-instatement of the bus.

“There are a lot of older people that live along that stretch of road that rely on that bus as a means to getting out of their home.

“Without it they will be cut off.

“Whilst the bus wasn’t running a 90-year-old couple were paying ridiculous taxi fees on a regular basis.

“This really isn’t on.

“There has been no public consultation and according to the Stagecoach website these changes will be implemented on July 22.

“The Stagecoach website states an average of one user a day uses the bus yet I have been delivering up there and walking round on a regular basis as local councillor and I see shed loads of people using that bus.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach said: “Service 3/3A is being reduced to operate between Chorley and Lower Adlington only.

“We have to make best use of the limited vehicle resources that we deploy on Chorley local services and the section of route between Lower Adlington and Blackrod was no longer commercially sustainable going forward.

“We did consult with both Lancashire County Council and Transport for Greater Manchester, but neither authority were able to justify providing a replacement subsidised facility, based upon the patronage and revenue figures that we shared with them.

“As a result, there will no longer be a regular bus service between Chorley and Blackrod, other than the Tuesday and Friday market day bus that we are providing for shoppers.”

The news comes just a fortnight after the Guardian reported that residents in the Walgarth Drive and Collingwood Road area are in a similar situation.

Coun Ralph Snape, who represents Chorley North East, said he felt that it was outrageous that the Number 18 bus was being withdrawn from service.

Instead it will be replaced by the Number One which starts in Coppull and goes along the busy Moor Road, then onto Collingwood Road near the shops.

Coun Snape was angry that elderly people were being expected to walk long distances to get into Chorley town centre.

He was also worried that they may have to wait more than hour if one of the buses was full.