Movement on the Buses

The following report has been carried in the Lancaster Guardian online edition:

Axed bus services in Lancaster could be reinstated

An extra £1m looks set to be made available for bus networks across the county.

Lancashire County Councillors are due to meet this week to discuss where investment is most needed. Key priorities are to restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas where people who don’t drive or own a car rely most on public transport, increase the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand, and stabilise the network to support routes which might otherwise disappear. The council’s new administration has committed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m.


County Coun Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport, has started a cross-party consultation for councillors to consider draft proposals for improving services, and put forward their ideas. He said: “I’m keen to ensure passengers benefit from the improvements to bus services we promised as soon as possible, I have already been working with officers on some draft proposals for how we could best meet the needs of communities with the new funding. “However, I also want to ensure that county councillors have the opportunity to input into work on behalf of the communities they represent and raise any issues they are aware of which will help to make sure the proposals we eventually bring forward have a real impact and provide the best possible value for money. A good public transport network is vital to support our economy, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access work and education.

Following consultations, which begin with drop in sessions, proposals will be presented to the county council’s cabinet on September 14. County Coun Snowden added: “It also plays a vital role in helping people to carry out everyday tasks such as doing their shopping, visiting family and friends, and getting to health appointments.

“This extra funding will make a significant impact in supporting and supplementing the commercial network to link communities which might otherwise have no or very little public transport, and help to ensure transport connections across Lancashire are as effective as possible.”

5 thoughts on “Movement on the Buses”

  1. The Lancaster Bus Users Group have emailed members (Duncan and I) with the following information:

    Your committee has identified a number of improvements to put to the council.

    These are shown below with an indication of which of the Council’s Key Priorities they conform to:

    1. Improved services in the Lune Valley – particularly to Arkholme, Whittington and Gressingham. (Key Priorities 1,2 and perhaps 3)

    2. Restoration of evening and Sunday services on city services (Key Priority 2)

    3. Restoration of evening services to larger villages (Key priority 2)

    4. Later buses between Carnforth and Warton (connecting to/from 555 service). – (Key priorities 1 and 2)

    5. Continued support for service 18 (East Lancaster Circular) following ending of Developer funding (Key Priority 3)

    Please let us know what you think of these suggestions and also please let us know if there are any other improvements we should be seeking.

    The Council intends to bring final proposals to Cabinet on September 14th and it is therefore vital that we contact county councillors as soon as possible.

    I therefore look forward to hearing from you shortly,

    Jim Davies
    Chair

  2. Where does Kurkby Lonsdale figure in these proposals? As a frequent bus user I find the reduced service has affected hospital visits (try telling outpatients that you can only attend during 4 hours of the day) recently stranded at hospital with broken leg refused hospital transport! Shopping – long wait for afternoon bus! And general ‘getting on with life!”

    1. “Joanne makes an excellent point about the impact the reduction in the bus service has on the residents of Kirkby Lonsdale. As far as I have seen the KL town council is efficiently run with the interests of all its residents at heart. Have they discussed the issue, perhaps she should raise the issue with them, I would have thought that it would be of concern because of its impact both on tourism and the trade it brings as well as the loss of an important facility for residents.

      Kirkby has its own well presented website at:
      http://www.kirkbylonsdale.co.uk/town-council

      I would be interested to learn how they respond to any requests from Joanne and other residents of KL.”

      Graham Williams

  3. In short, Joanne, Lancs County Council are unlikely to take the needs of a South Lakeland Town into their considerations, however. Kirkby is a key hub on the Lancaster, Caton, Kirkby network and a destination for many bus users, as well as a source of users to and from Lancaster (particularly as you point out RLI).

    We hope to persuade them that Kirkby should be treated as a major town when the evening and weekend services are considered, as it is likely to be a destination for numerous passengers at those times.

    John Keegan

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