Radical review call for borough transport needs

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A new radical approach to public transport provision throughout Chorley has been urged.

It comes as county transport bosses are due to meet borough councillors tomorrow.

Lancashire county councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport and Tony Moreton, assistant director of transport, will talk to Chorley Council’s overview and scrutiny task group – public transport issues group.

On the agenda is

n current service provision across the borough

n proposed changes to services after recent consultation

n difficulties regarding the provision of rural services

n community travel.

The vice chairman, Coun Julia Berry, said: “What needs looking at is the need to get down to basics. It’s about thinking radically.

“We’ve got a community transport system that’s not adequate for rural people. People that are stuck in their houses.

“A couple of women I know have lost their legs and haven’t got access to transport.”

She added: “We want everyone to be involved in it.

“We have to start thinking about how we can do this.

“Other countries have car sharing and looking after your neighbours. We need to look after people and be environmentally friendly.

“It needs to be affordable, available and accessible for everybody.”

The chairman, Coun Robert Finnamore, said: “The meeting is just scoping so we are limited as to what can be achieved in that one meeting.

“I do hope to get a good start at this meeting though and I will be asking about bus subsidies, and why Lancashire doesn’t buy into the Manchester subsidised travel like nearby unitary authorities do.

“I will ask for information surrounding the central Lancashire transport and infrastructure master plan.

“I also have a vested interest in Coppull Railway Station, so it will no doubt be covered.

“Much like Julia, although I wouldn’t use the term ‘radical’ I do believe rural services need to be focused on and, even before this group was properly formed, I have been urging councillors from rural wards to get involved.

“Similarly I intend to keep in mind the impact public transport has on the borough especially when one considers the benefits to the town centre economy and giving residents throughout the borough access to vital health services, employment and a plethora of other useful facilities.”