An isolated set of former bus passengers are calling on Preston Bus to re-consider its decision to change the route of the Number 14 service.Advertisement
In September the bus firm faced criticism for the service finishing at Holme Slack rather than continuing to Fulwood.
It used to go onto Ronaldsway and Longsands but residents in this area have now been left without a bus service.
Preston Bus said a decline in passenger numbers meant the extended service was ‘no longer sustainable’ and talks with Lancashire County Council collapsed.
A Labour councillor Freddie Bailey has tabled a motion calling on the chief executive of Preston City Council to apply pressure to Rotala, the parent firm of Preston Bus.
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Cllr Bailey claims Lancashire County Council offered a 50 per cent subsidy to Rotala to keep the service in operate for six months – but Preston Bus did not take up this offer, and neither did Stagecoach.
He writes: “This Council considers that the isolation of residents in the Longsands area, Ronaldsway and Little Brookfield and en-route, from the bus network is unacceptable. Students, workers, disabled and elderly residents in particular are suffering the damaging consequences following the cancellation of this service.”
The city council has taken the unusual step of issuing a message to members of the public ahead of the motion being heard at the Town Hall at the Thursday (18 October) full council meeting.
More than 1,000 people signed a petition calling on Preston Bus to reverse the decision.
A spokesperson said: “We are aware that there are messages going around encouraging people to attend a meeting at Town Hall on Thursday and would like to give some clarification.
“At our full Council meeting on Thursday afternoon, the agenda includes a Notice of Motion (request for the Council to consider a topic) regarding the Longsands Bus – the notice asks the Council to request Lancashire County Council (the Highways Authority) and Preston Bus to reconsider their decision.
“You are welcome to attend and observe this meeting, but please be aware of the following:
“No decisions determining the future of the bus service will be made (as it is not our decision to make).
“There is limited capacity for visitors: access is on a first come, first serve basis.
“We cannot confirm a definite time for the Notice Motion to be considered, but the Council meeting starts at 2pm.”
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What do you think of the Number 14 bus service change? Let us know your views in the comments below