Out-of-hours buses face the axe

Chorley bus station
Chorley bus station
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Shock proposals for massive £3.8 million bus cuts have sparked outrage across Chorley.

Cost-cutting Lancashire County Council is planning to slash many evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday services from May.

Chorley services facing cuts are:

The number 2 - Chorley to Blackburn;

The 362 - Chorley to Wigan;

The 10 - Chorley Interchange to Chorley Hospital via Astley Village, Euxton and Buckshaw Village;

The 11 - Chorley to Eaves Lane;

The 109 - Chorley to Preston via Euxton, Buckshaw Village, Clayton-le-Woods;

The 114 Chorley to Whittle-le-Woods-Preston.

A public consultation is under way – ending on January 14.

A final decision will be made at a full meeting of LCC on February 20.

Furious Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle said: “This is a real concern of mine, but I do believe this is an oversight by Lancashire County Council. In Chorley we need to see an expansion of transport not decrease the transport.

“If we lose services, I fear we could become distant from the more rural villages. What we need is a more common sense approach to this and I do think they will reconsider.”

He added: “I’ve had meetings with LCC and I personally told them they don’t need to withdraw this.

“The money is there so why would they withdraw services when the cash is available?”

Many commuters will be expected to find alternative means of travel, such as trains and taxis.

But Mr Hoyle said: “At the moment there are no alternatives. We have been in a massive recession and the bus gave people a cheap option to travel.”

Chorley county and borough councillor Mark Perks said: “Why have people not been notified about the consultation? LCC said they would notify parish councils and they haven’t done this.

“This means people aren’t aware of the cuts and by the time they will be, it will be too late. Four bus routes affect my ward.

“We want to encourage the elderly to leave their own properties and by reducing bus services this won’t be happening.”

Tony Moreton, LCC’s assistant director for sustainable transport, said: “We are sorry if anyone feels the consultation period is insufficient, and hope they are able to let us have their views.”

LCC is seeking to save £3.8m over two years by withdrawing funding for evening and Sunday services that currently receive council subsidies. The proposal would see subsidies withdrawn from 72 services.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I’m fully aware the withdrawal of any bus service would have an impact upon the people who use it. These are proposals at this stage.”

Coun Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council leader, said: “These proposed cuts are hugely disappointing to us and we will be making our comments as a council.”