A vital bus service from Wigan to Preston set to be axed in the new year has been saved from the scrap heap.
In November the 113 service appeared doomed after Stagecoach announced it was scrapping it from January after years of falling profits.
But Lancashire County Council has now stepped in to run the service and stop it from ceasing to operate.
On Tuesday the Leader of the Council, County Coun Geoff Driver, and County Coun Kieth Iddon, signed-off a deal to provide the necessary financial support to run the service.
County Coun Andrew Snowden, Lead Member for Public Transport, said: “We have been working tirelessly with officers, residents, partners and elected representatives since Stagecoach arrived at their decision to withdraw the service.
“My aim throughout this has to ensure that we don’t have a knee-jerk reaction but that we found a long-term sustainable solution to keep the 113 bus route running.
“It is a well-used service that covers a large area and whilst Stagecoach’s numbers indicate that it doesn’t make a profit and isn’t commercially viable, my concern is with the people who depend on it to get to work and appointments, to see relatives and to go shopping.”
The service currently travels through Standish, Wrightington, Heskin, Eccleston, Croston, Ulnes Walton, Leyland, Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge, and Walton-le-Dale before arriving in Preston
The cost to the county council will be approximately £60,000 for the rest of the financial year and will be funded from within the Community Services budgets.
The net cost of incorporating a full replacement service within the county council's Tendered Bus Service Network will cost approximately £240,000 per year.