A popular park and ride site into Preston has been given more time to become commercially viable.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council is extending its subsidy for the Capitol Centre park and ride scheme in Walton-le-Dale.
The scheme – which runs every 10 minutes during peak time – makes a loss of around £40,000-per-year.
Preston bus receives a subsidy from the county council to run the bus service – after in the summer they announced they couldn’t afford to retain the scheme.
Councillors at the cabinet meeting on Thursday (7 December) approved extending the funding until March to give more time for a solution to be found.
Blog Preston readers have been vocal about the need for the park and ride.
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Enid Hilton said: “My sister finds this service invaluable as she has no transport,apart from her mobility scooter,and if and when I visit (I live in Blackpool). She can get to the Capitol Centre on her scooter and then get the bus into Preston.
“When I visit we leave the car and still use the park and ride. The buses are nearly always full and I believe it would be a great loss to the community if this service was terminated. Come on Walton -Le -Dalers get behind this campaign to keep this service.”
Sue Moon said: “Use it every day to get to work. Isn’t this what we are always told. Don’t use the car to get into the town, use public transport. This is what people are doing and now it could be lost. How can we afford the car parking charges when the pay in Preston is so bad and traffic is terrible. The park and ride buses are always full when I use them.”
SH17 commented: “I have used this service a lot more since having my little boy 3 years ago. He loves the bus (and trains) and it is much cheaper and easier than parking in Preston. Even travelling with my husband, it is cheaper than parking on the car parks if staying for more than 2 hours.
“I travelled on Thursday (9.30am to Preston returning at 12.30pm) and both the buses I travelled on were full. I didn’t wait at all for the bus into Preston and only waited a few minutes for the return bus.
“If I was to travel by bus into Preston from where I live it would be £4.50 each and, I believe, the wait is far longer.”
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A number of readers also questioned whether the park and ride should cap usage for pensioners, with many reporting people park up at the park and ride and then use their bus pass or concessions ticket to go into town.
Cabinet member for highways and transport councillor Keith Iddon said ahead of the decision: “As the report to cabinet sets out, the annual net cost of running the site and bus service is currently around £42,700, and officers have been working over recent months to reduce this by increasing income, and cutting the costs of managing the site.
“Some of these solutions have already been put in place, but we’re proposing to allow more time to investigate further potential cost savings, and assess the impact of recent marketing activities, before making a decision about the operation of the service beyond the end of the current financial year.”
What do you think about the funding extension for the park and ride? Let us know in the comments below