The strength of public feeling about potential cuts to rural evening and weekend bus services in and around Preston has forced a council re-think.Advertisement
Lancashire County Council has been forced to back-track after it proposed to try and save £3.8m on its subsidies to the services.
Services connecting areas on the edge of Preston to the city centre would be completely cut off during the evenings and weekends under previous plans.
Now County Hall chiefs have revealed they are going back to the drawing board after a revolt by bus users.
They have now pledged to review each bus routes evening and weekend service and push bus operators harder to keep key services going.
county council leader Jennifer Mein said: “What this shows is that, although we are dealing with an extremely difficult financial situation, the county council will still listen to residents’ views and that we will think creatively when we’re looking for ways to reduce our spending.
“Central government is severely cutting our funding and we’ve got no option other than to reduce county council expenditure by £300m in the next four years.
“This is forcing us to make some very unpalatable decisions; but the reality is that if we don’t make cuts, we will be in a much worse situation than we are now.”
The county council ran a public consultation and was inundated with feedback from angry bus users.
It also held a number of public consultation meetings where communities across Lancashire put their points to the man in charge of transport in Lancashire, county councillor John Fillis.
The stark reality of areas on the edge of Preston losing their bus services was shown when the Number 80 service was withdrawn in late December.
It emerged operator Classic Bus North West had gone into administration.
Blog Preston readers flocked to voice their opinion on the route, saying it left them with no other way to get about.
The service was resumed by Archway Travel for at least three months.
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