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

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