Swathes of bus routes across Preston begin to disappear from Sunday as cutbacks come into force.Advertisement
A previous £7m subsidy from Lancashire County Council for hundreds of routes and services in Preston and the surrounding area has been reduced to £2m.
45 routes across Lancashire have stopped as of Sunday 3 April, with a further 68 continued but many having changes in their operating times or partial services withdrawn.
The man in charge of transport for the county council has placed the blame for the changes to services at the door of Whitehall.
County councillor John Fillis said in March people must ‘use them or lose them’ when it comes to bus services: “I’d encourage people to help us to maintain these buses by using them regularly. I hesitate to use the phrase ‘use it or lose it’ but it’s clear that the best way to keep these buses is to use them.
“Following the decision by government to cut hundreds of millions of pounds of funding to Lancashire County Council we have been forced to reduce our current funding for buses from around £7m to £2m.
“Some of these services will not operate as often as they do at the moment, but the new timetables will ensure there is a bus at peak times when people would most need them to access employment and education, and enough services to allow people to make vital appointments such as visiting the doctors.”
Passengers are being urged to check their timetables and services on the county council website as the changes take place.
A number of services have been moved into private hands, such as the Preston to Skipton service and the Preston to Longton service.
Related: Preston Bus announces changes to services
However, Preston Bus has drawn criticism for its decision to axe the Preston Orbit service – which received no public subsidy.
Has your bus route been affected? What do you think of the cutbacks? Let us know in the comments below