Category Archives: Rural Bus Service

Stagecoach Response

I have spoken with Michael Sanderson of Stagecoach regarding the letter I sent to them on the 05 April. See Link to the letter.  His response to the suggestion was:

First of all, he said there was an element of cost involved in the suggestion, because of extra fuel and drivers time. There was also a possibility of a problem of actually fitting what would be an extended journey within the time constraints.

He didn’t think it was a major problem that people have, at the moment, to wait in Lancaster for three hours between buses (it used to be an hourly service), and he didn’t think there would be a demand for passengers wanting to come into Kirkby from either Whittington or Arkholme for two + hours, and then go back on the 5:50 bus that Kirkby Coach Hire are going to provide.

He didn’t think there would be any passenger demand for that whatsoever.

That was probably everything that he said.  He did, however, add that they will be looking into the running of the existing two school buses and they have already cut down one of them from a double decker to a single decker.  He asked me how many people used the bus that passes through Whittington and I said it was very busy, it is almost full, but I didn’t know about the numbers on the other (Wennington) bus.  He said that in September they will be considering reducing the service to one bus and they don’t want to put a new bus on the timetable in case they have to remove it again in September when they make the decision on this school service.

He suggested that I contact him in September to see if they have made the decision to reduce this service.  If they haven’t they may consider running the bus we suggest.

Duncan Foster

Letter to Stagecoach

Duncan has sent the following letter to Stagecoach.  Lets keep our fingers crossed:

Mr. Michael Sanderson
Commercial Manager
Broadacre House
16-20 Lowther Street
Carlisle CA3 8DA

05 April 2017

Dear Mr. Sanderson,

The residents of Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington, in the Lune Valley, have an Action Group whose primary concern is to investigate ways to supplement the reduced public transport service which we receive since the removal of the County subsidy in April of last year.

We have a specific suggestion to which we would appreciate your company giving consideration.

You currently provide a term time only service, which leaves Kirkby Lonsdale Market Sq. at 15:45.  The bus which provides this service leaves Lancaster at around 14:45, occasionally from the Depot and at other times from the Bus Station, and does not pick-up on its way to Kirkby.

We wonder if you would consider allowing this bus to take the old 81A route and pick-up on its journey.  This would serve two purposes.  Firstly at the moment you have a three hour gap between the 13:15 and the 16:15 services leaving Lancaster. We believe your passengers would love to shorten this wait.  Secondly it would provide passengers a two hour time period in Kirkby before they returned to Lancaster on the new 17:50 which Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire will be providing from 01st May 2017.

We would appreciate your serious consideration of this suggestion

Yours Sincerely,

Duncan Foster

CC (by Email):  Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington Parish Councils;  City Councillor Peter Williamson; County Councillor John Fillis and County Councillor Susie Charles

Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire

We have received some unexpected but most welcome news.  As a result of Duncan Foster’s consultations with Matt Sutton at Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire, with the support ofJim Davies at the Lancaster Bus User Group, KLCH will be introducing a new service from 1st May onwards.

Currently, Stagecoach operates a service which leaves Lancaster at 7:45 passing through Arkholme at 8:24 and Whittington at 8:30.  This bus only runs Monday to Friday in Term Time.

KLCH will enhance this by providing the same timetable during school holidays and also most importantly on Saturdays (there will still be no Sunday Service).

They will also be running an additional Service which will leave Booths daily at 17:50 arriving Whittington at 17:59 and Arkholme at 18:06.  It seems that this will be Mon to Saturday both term time and during school holidays (we still have to confirm that these days are correct).

This latter bus will be in addition to the existing Stagecoach Term Time service which leaves Kirkby at 15:40.

KLCH comment: “We are not aware as yet of what will be happening as regards return tickets and publicity – obviously it would be best if return and period tickets were interavailable, and these journeys included in the Stagecoach leaflet.”  As this would require the cooperation of Stagecoach we will have to wait and see.

KLCH have been able to offer this service in order to reposition the vehicles concerned due to the needs of their existing timetable.

Superb work Duncan.

John Keegan

BUGS March Minutes

 Minutes for BUG meeting, 16th March 2017
1.45 pm Carnforth Railway Heritage Station

  1. Present: Jim Davies, Abi Mills, Eric Jones, Margaret, David Cox, Dorothy Pearce, Ken Pearce, Duncan Foster, John Keegan, Paul Legon, Heather Kellett, Mel Guilding, Andrew Drummond, G.J. Beckett, Pauline White, Roger Frankland Apologies: Paul Gardener, Grace Donhue, Tim Hamilton Cox, Alec Crouch, Drusilla Nesbitt, Carol Gardener, Richard Scott, David Barnes, Steve Clarke, Joy Greenwood, Gina Dowding, Mary Searle-Chatterjee, Brian Wearing
  1. Presentation by Jack Waring from Glasdon Group Ltd (about Bus shelters)

Jack Waring gave an interesting presentation about the development of the bus stops Glasdon are designing and took feedback from members as to what is important for passengers in bus stop design. AM asked if they could put a new prototype bus stop on Keswick Road, Lancaster, as the stop there is in desperate need of replacement. They said this could be a possibility and will arrange to come and visit the site.

  1. Number 18 bus

JD gave an update on the service that is now running. Fixed funding £15000, that will last 19 months. £65000 will also be available from Miller homes (Leisure Park houses) s106 money as well in the near future. BUG organised a launch event, which received good press coverage.  BUG also printed 500 leaflets and delivered to the area of the route. THC delivered stagecoach leaflets too.

  1. Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire increased timetable for service 8 and 9

Due to KLC having a bus freed up, as no longer running no 18, so services to Ryelands and Bowerham have been improved.

  1. Service review by Stagecoach, which routes do we want looking at?

6a – Lancaster needs to be every half hour

Mellishaw Lane Retail Park – could route change make it work?

Mossgate Park/Windermere Park – needs a bus service!

Leaflet to advertise tickets – Lancaster Bus Guide was produced last April, with map. Much more user friendly – need to make sure it is kept up to date, it needs no 18 on

Uni along A6 – buses full by time get along Greaves Road – still happening

Need a re-run the Give up your Seat campaign at the beginning of every new academic year

1840 Lune Valley service – bus needs to be officially timetabled to Kirkby Lonsdale. Bus could come back through Wittington, Arkholme and Halton.

Split 81 services to go to both sides of the Lune Valley

Circular Bus serving Kirkby Lonsdale, Ingleton and Wray – has anyone every looked at this?

Could later buses be reinstated to and from Kirkby Lonsdale and Lancaster?

Wray to Kirbky Lonsdale – needs to be some buses

Stagecoach will be invited to next meeting in May

  1. Update on Local Transport Plan – nothing to report, as what happens will depend on the outcome of the Local Plan Consultation
  1. Local Plan consultation – how can bus users get their voices heard?

Please respond starting public transport need to be taken into account. AM will send out a link to the consultation with minutes of this meeting.

  1.  Greyhound Bridge works and what effect it will have on the buses

Need to wait to see what Stagecoach say, BUG may get involved with helping with publicity about how this will effect services.

  1. Membership renewal

Members have been asked to renew membership if not already done so. Steve Clarke will be sending reminders to those who still need to pay.

  1. Date and time of next meeting

11th May- 6 pm, The Cornerstone, Lancaster

  1. AOB

Mary Searle-Chatterjee asked Halton Parish Council for funding to improve a bus shelter in Halton, it now has a new seat installed and the shelter has been painted.  

Summer timetable 755 will be coming though at 10.25 so will improve the connecting in Carnforth if using 51

Mel Guilding reported that the 49 service will be going through Highfield Estate, hopefully by end of March. MG will let us know when this will start.

Dales Bus – will be 3 services.

One – Northern Dalesman run by Preston Bus

Two – Mallam Tarn Shuttle – KLC starting in Lancaster

Three – Bowland Exporer – Travellers Choice – start in Lancaster

Will be a concessions ticket at £7 and £1 for single trip for ‘under 19’s, but children under 16 go free with the holder of a Dales Rover ticket.

Dales Bus leaflet – timetable is now available at bus station and details are on the BUG website

Northern Rail have funded these services

Agenda for next meeting – BUG day trips to use the buses!

AM 19.3.17