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The wheels turn: A final journey for Preston Bus’ Orbit before the cull

Posted on - 2nd April, 2016 - 8:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Fulwood, Larches, Lea, News, Transport
Preston's Orbit service is no more... Pic: Ian Simpson

Preston’s Orbit service is no more… Pic: Ian Simpson

The wheel turns on Preston’s Orbit bus service for the final time on Saturday evening as it disappears from our roads.

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More than 3,500 people signed two petitions calling for Preston Bus to reverse its decision to scrap the circular route of the city.

The firm, operated by Rotala, said severe congestion on many routes across Preston meant it was ‘impossible’ to operate the service.

A bitter war of words between Larches councillor Mark Yates, whose ward will lose the service, and Preston Bus’ communications department has been fought since February when it was revealed the service may disappear.

Cllr Yates says it is a ‘cynical’ move by Preston Bus, putting profit before passengers.

While Preston Bus says it is introducing a number of alternative services on sections of the former Orbital route.

However, passengers have voiced their opinion on how it leaves many now facing a two-bus journey where before they had just one bus to catch.

Emma Caffrey, who started one of the petitions to save the route, said: “I think it’s terrible and shows Preston Bus are not listening or putting their customers first.

“Maybe in the future a bus route could be incorporated that goes a similar route but I’m just very disappointed in Preston Bus for not listening.”

The 36-year-old, who lives in Lea, added: “I just want to also thank everyone who has taken the time to share the petition on social media and sign it.”

A statement from Preston Bus said: “Unfortunately, the Orbit’s long circular route went through a series of chronic traffic congestion bottlenecks. Without local authority support through adequate bus priority schemes, sensible parking restrictions, clearways and infrastructure investment it was impossible to maintain or improve reliability, consistently resulting in the highest number of complaints for any single Preston Bus service.”

Related: Which bus services in Preston and Lancashire are disappearing?

A representative from Preston Bus is due to appear at a public meeting with Larches residents in the coming weeks to explain the decision further.

Preston Bus faced criticism for taking on the previously subsidised Preston to Skipton service, and abandoning its core customers within the Preston city area.

What do you think about the Orbit changes? Let us know in the comments below

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