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A Boost to the New Year

Duncan and I are delighted to be able to update you on the bus service, via this email from County Councillor Phillippa Williamson.  This certainly provides a fillip to our New Year celebrations.

Dear All,

You may have heard this – but just in case… Some good news for 2018.

From Monday 5 March 2018, Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd, in partnership with Lancashire County Council, will introduce a new 582 bus service to restore a daytime local bus link for the villages of Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington. 

The new regular two-hourly bus service operating Monday to Saturday daytime will run between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Caton, Brookhouse, Hornby, Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington. 

The new Service 582 is an extension to the existing commercial service from Kirkby Lonsdale to Skipton, and will also connect with Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire’s wider North Yorkshire Craven Connection network Services 580 and 581 offering through links to Ingleton, Settle and Skipton. 

This is really welcome news – many of us have been campaigning for a new service linking our villages for some time, as we all understand how much it means to local residents and businesses. I have attached below the Lancashire County Council notification of this news:


This new bus contract is for three years and has come about following the change in administration at the County Council in May 2017 who have made an extra £1m available to support bus services in several parts of the county, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m to improve the public transport network. 

More details on the timetable will be available very soon and as we go into 2018, it would be great if we can help promote the new service to encourage as many people as possible to use it once it begins to help sustain it for the future. 

All the very best wishes for the new year,

Phillippa Williamson
Lead Member for Young People
County Councillor for Lancaster Rural North

Christmas on the Buses

We have to thank Phillippa and Peter Williamson for their sterling work in promoting our interest in improving our bus service.  Phillippa’s email, copied below, is self explanatory.  Lets all keep our fingers crossed as we celebrate the season.

Dear Duncan, John and Gillian,

Just to a quick note to update you on the bus situation.

The County Council have been making excellent progress in their discussions for a new bus service for our side of the valley for 2018.

I am very hopeful that we will be hearing positive news very soon. I will let you have details as soon as I can, but I thought you would appreciate an update.

Very best wishes to you all for Christmas and the New Year.

Phillippa and Peter

Phillippa Williamson
Lead Member for Young People
County Councillor for Lancaster Rural North

To Speak or Not to Speak

One of the problems with a Blog is that there is no way of knowing who reads it or whether or not they agree with what is posted unless they respond.

With the closure of the Dragon’s Head and other facilities there is little opportunity for us to meet and share opinions.  No doubt, the Parish Council does its best, but based on the number of people attending PC meetings, it is unable to generate interest and given the increasingly transient nature of the community together with its wide spread and in places sparse population, this is hardly surprising.

For Whittington, the Blog offers us the opportunity of discussion both with other residents and with ‘outsiders’.

Anyone can contribute to the Blog, either using their own name or a nom-de-plume and, as far as I can see, John exercises very limited censorship, intervening only when “things get out of hand”.

But there is an underlying problem in that, as I understand, there is no way of determining how many people read the Blog let alone how they react to it.

From comments made at the Parish Council it is apparent that not all of our Councillors are regular users of the internet, indeed one remains unconnected to the web, but it is apparent that some members of the PC are computer literate and even read the Blog.

Through the Blog, John and Duncan have been trying to raise awareness of the problems caused by the lack of a bus service but there has been little response from other residents.  Obviously, if you live at places like Hutton Roof or Keerside the question may seem academic and you may feel that if you live in the village and can drive the issue is not relevant.  But look at the effect that the lack of a bus service is having on families with non-driving children and on those who suddenly find that they are no longer able to drive.  It also seems likely that the lack of a bus service is having a depressing effect on the housing market.

So what is the message?  If you read the Blog and agree just post a short note to add your support, if you disagree, say why and there is a chance that this will stimulate discussion and perhaps a greater feeling of community.

Graham Williams

The Village Blog