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Preston Bus press ahead with evening service cutbacks

Posted on - 3rd June, 2024 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Fulwood, Larches, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Ribbleton, Transport
A Preston Bus service heading down Lancaster Road Pic: Carl Stein
A Preston Bus service heading down Lancaster Road Pic: Carl Stein

A reduction in the evening services on four city bus routes is set to come into action from later this month.

Preston Bus is withdrawing a raft of evening journeys saying rising costs and falling passenger numbers were to blame.

The decision was widely criticised by passengers, business groups and politicians but the bus firm – operated by parent firm Rotala – has chosen to press on with its proposals.

Read more: Opinion: ‘I am partially disabled so these evening Preston Bus changes are difficult and dangerous’

However, in a statement the bus firm said it was exploring with Lancashire County Council whether there was an option to restore some of the late evening services or provide alternatives.

Commercial director of Preston Bus, Thomas Calderbank, told Blog Preston: “As customers will be aware, in April we carried out a Consultation on proposals to make changes to our late evening timetables on services 6, 23, 35 and 100.

“The proposals involved the removal of a number of poorly-used journeys which are heavily loss-making, making it not viable to continue operating them. The purpose of the consultation was to fully understand the impact that this would have on the community, prior to a final decision being made.

“A number of responses were received and they were very helpful in understanding what impact this would have, and we are thankful of everyone who took the time to respond.

“Regretfully, despite this, the point remains that these journeys are heavily-loss making and we simply cannot afford to continue operating them.

“Therefore, we have reluctantly decided to proceed with the proposal to withdraw these journeys from 24th June. In parallel, Lancashire County Council are currently evaluating if funding can be available to provide any replacement journeys for these withdrawals. A further announcement will be made if this is the case.”

Read more: Preston Bus diverts services away from Corporation Street bus gate due to congestion

A spokesperson for Lancashire County Council told Blog Preston: “Preston Bus have advised us that they have had to review many of their commercial services due to significant increases to costs, resources and lower passenger numbers.

“They have taken the decision to withdraw a number of later evening journeys and have registered these changes with the Traffic Commissioner.

“We are currently assessing the impact of these changes and whether any replacement journeys can be provided.”

Read more: Fares on Preston Bus services increased from the end of April

What are the changes?

From June 24 the 6, 23, 35 and 100 services all see shake-ups to late buses.

Service 6 – The 9.55pm and 10.55pm services from Preston to Red Scar are withdrawn. This means the last departure is 8.55pm. This is now not going ahead after Lancashire County Council stepped in to help support the number 6 service.

Service 23 – The 9.40pm and 10.40pm services Monday to Saturday are being withdrawn.

And on Sundays the 101.10pm, 10.40pm and 11.10pm services from Preston are being withdrawn.

Service 35 – The 9.30pm and 10.30pm Monday to Saturday services from Preston are withdrawn. The last bus from Preston remains at 11pm.

On Sundays the 9.30pm, 10pm and 10.30pm services from Preston are withdrawn, the last bus is 9pm.

Read more: Corporation Street bus gate is now literally a gate

Service 100 – the 8.36pm, 9.36pm and 10.36pm Monday to Saturday journeys from Preston to Farington Park and the 7.59pm, 8.59pm, 9.59pm and 10.59pm Monday to Saturday journeys from Preston to Larches are all being withdrawn.

Instead there will be a 8.06pm, 9.06pm, 10.06pm and 11.06pm service from Preston to Faringdon Park.

And from Preston to Larches the bus will run from 7.29pm, 8.29pm, 9.29pm and 10.29pm.

On Sundays, all late evening services are withdrawn, with the last bus from Preston to Faringdon Park being 9.06pm and from Preston to Larches at 8.29pm.

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