Category Archives: Rural Bus Service

Lancaster Guardian

 

The Lancaster Guardian is also carrying the story about the creation of the Lune Bus Action Group, even using the same stock photo.  It’s rewarding to see the press picking up the groundswell of support for our activity. (Guardian Article)

The text of the article is as follows:

A new campaign group has been set up to try and improve services for bus users in the Lune Valley.

The Lune Bus Action Group has been created to look at how to reinstate evening bus services to villages such as Whittington, Wray and Arkholme.

The group, set up by Duncan Foster and John Keegan – is hoping to provide evidence that residents and businesses in the Lune Valley between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale can sustain a more regular bus service.

Last month, Lancashire County Council agreed to inject an extra £1m into bus services, taking the total county budget to £3m.

But members of the Lancaster District Bus Users Group expressed their disappointment that so little had been allocated to the Lancaster area.

The county council said it would work with bus operators to use the funding available to try to develop a sustainable option to restore a daytime service link for Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington and the Lune Valley as a whole using the Service 81.

The council said it would continue to consider evening and Sunday services, perhaps in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders.

Mr Keegan, from the Lune Valley Bus Action Group said: “Duncan Foster and I have been campaigning for a bus service down the North bank of the River Lune since all services were cancelled in April 2016.

“We have to accept that Lancashire are not going to consider evening and Sunday provision as they have said ‘With the level of budget available it is proposed to retain a focus on Monday to Saturday daytime service provision and develop proposals to provide sustainable services that also prioritise employment, education and social needs’.

“At this time it is not clear what County will have in mind (for weekend and evening services), but if we are to ever re-introduce, say the Friday and Saturday evening services, which were so well supported by passengers visiting Kirkby and/or Lancaster, then clearly we will need to provide some evidence that the need is recognised by publicans, restaurateurs and businesses in and around Kirkby.”


Anyone who would like to be on our Action Group mailing list please email us at: lunebusactiongroup@btinternet.com

John Keegan

Westmorland Gazette

Westmorland Gazette journalist, Rachel Garnett, has put a nice article about our Lune Bus Action Group bus campaign in the current edition of the Gazette.  (Rachel’s article. )

The text of the article is as follows:

Whittington villagers launch campaign for more buses in Lune Valley

TWO villagers are pressing the case for more buses to and from their Lune Valley community.

Duncan Foster and John Keegan say the village of Whittington, two miles from Kirkby Lonsdale, is poorly served by public transport and they want the daytime timetable to be improved.

The friends have formed the Lune Bus Action Group and they have contacted MPs and councillors as well as restaurant, bar and pub owners in Kirkby Lonsdale to seek support, as they also believe extra evening and weekend buses could help boost trade in the market town.

Mr Keegan and Mr Foster told the Gazette they would be sharing their views at tonight’s (Thursday, September 28) meeting of the Lancaster Bus Users Group. Mr Foster hit the headlines last year when he resorted to hitch-hiking to the pub in a hi-vis vest following the loss of bus services in Whittington. As reported by the Gazette, funding cuts by Lancashire County Council saw the number of buses between the village and places like Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale drop from 111 per week to just five.

The latest campaign by the two villagers follows last week’s announcement by the county council that travellers using the number 81 Lancaster-Hornby-Kirkby Lonsdale route could see daytime buses restored to Whittington, Gressingham and Arkholme.

The council has increased its bus network budget to £3 million and says it aims to “restore lost links” between rural communities across the county.

Once detailed timetables have been drawn up, the routes will be put out to tender, with improved services likely to start from December 10, says the council.

Campaigners Mr Keegan and Mr Foster are suggesting changes to the number 81 Monday to Saturday timetable that they say will have “minimal cost impact” but will improve services for bus users on the River Lune’s west bank.

They also hope to gather evidence from restaurateurs and publicans in Kirkby Lonsdale to argue the case for evening and Sunday buses.


Anyone who would like to be on our Action Group mailing list please email us at: lunebusactiongroup@btinternet.com

John Keegan

Lune Bus Action Group

Duncan and I have circulated the email below to 14 local business together with 10 elected officials, including Local and County Councillors and our two MP’s, and our local media.  We have been delighted with the response we have received.  Lets hope that something can come of this.

“We have to accept that Lancashire are not going to consider evening and Sunday provision as they have said: “With the level of budget available it is proposed to retain a focus on Monday to Saturday daytime service provision and develop proposals to provide sustainable services that also prioritise employment, education and social needs”.

As far as evening and Sunday services are concerned the Service recommend as follows: “However the development of services at these times, when delivered in partnership with other stakeholders, such as local authorities or through the use of developer contributions, will continue to be considered, as they arise.”

At this time it is not clear what County will have in mind, but if we are to ever re-introduce, say the Friday and Saturday Evening services, which were so well supported by passengers visiting Kirkby and/or Lancaster, then clearly we will need to provide some evidence that the need is recognised by publicans, restaurateurs and businesses in and around Kirkby.

With that in mind we have decided to form an action group under the title Lune Bus Action Group.

We are writing to invite you to participate in this Group. We are not asking for financial support merely that you agree to accept communications, preferably by email, from us and when appropriate provide your views and suggestions.

We also invite you to involve any others who you believe will have a “stake” in the introduction of evening and/or Sunday services.

This Group will concentrate solely on obtaining Evening and Weekend service improvements. If anyone would like to be kept upto date regarding progress with the Monday to Saturday, daytime, schedules please let me know.

Best regards.

Duncan Foster & John Keegan
Lune Bus Action Group

Suggested Bus Changes

After extensive considerations Duncan and I have arrived at suggestions to improve the bus Transport arrangements on our side of the Lune Valley.

We have had to accept that we are unlikely to have any joy pursuing an Evening and Sunday Service, at this time.  To obtain such services we need to find, in the County Councils own words, “Stakeholders” who are prepared to join together with us to implement these ends.  We have decided to form an action group under the title “Lune Bus Action Group” and to seek like minded people and, particularly businesses, who are prepared to join us and lend some form of support.

At this stage therefore we are suggesting changes that will have the minimal cost impact, Monday to Saturday all year round, but will provide us with services additional to those we have at present.

Firstly – Kirkby to Lancaster – we propose the following restructuring:

Proposed Kirkby to Lancaster changes

This proposal enables the 1545 from Kirkby to pass through Whittington every day and not just during term time (as a matter of interest this very evening this bus was full and had 6 standing passengers and another was picked up in Whittington heading to Lancaster).  Melling will lose it’s service out of term time, as we are having to do at the moment.

The following revisions, of the Lancaster to Kirkby schedule do in fact provide for an addition bus from Kirkby to Lancaster through Whittington every day.  This extra service is shown on the following timetable as it is a better explanation of how this change is achieved.

Proposed Lancaster to Kirkby changes

At the moment the 1840 from Lancaster only goes beyond Hornby “On Request” we propose that such requests are not required and that the service continues to Kirkby every day then returns to Lancaster via Whittington, Arkholme etc.

You will also see that we have added a 1445 service from Lancaster to Kirkby via Whittington.  At the moment this bus takes this route but does not stop for passengers. We suggest that it does pick up passengers who could then return to Whittington using the Kirkby Coach Hire service at 1750, giving them some two hours for shopping etc.

The full proposals are available in PDF format by clicking on this link: 81 – Time Table Proposals.

Your comments are welcome and if you would like to join our Action Group please let me know, either on this blog or email me at john.loynepark@btinternet.com.

I would like to finish by saying that last week Duncan Foster traveled to Whitby, stayed four days, and traveled back, all by public transport.  Duncan should be an example to all of us in his dedication to public transport.

John Keegan