Shoppers waiting for a bus at a busy retail park are starring in a brand new council comedy – Carry on Queueing.
But local councillor Terry Cartwright isn’t laughing, despite branding the phantom route on the outskirts of Preston “a complete joke.”
I thought we were trying to be greener in this city. If I ran Deepdale Retail Park I’d be asking for my money back.Coun Cartwright
The management of Deepdale Retail Park are similarly unamused after revealing they paid more than £85,000 towards a regular service and haven’t seen a solitary bus since.
“Public transport to our shopping park would be most welcome,” confessed regional centre manager Colin Gilligan.
“We even have a new bus stop just waiting for buses to use it. But you must ask the council and the bus companies why we haven’t got any.”
The new stop, at the entrance to the shopping park was built as part of a £16m extension which was completed earlier this year.
One of the strict conditions of planning permission was a financial contribution of £85,910 towards re-routing a bus service into the park.
Coun Cartwright said: “I’m constantly being asked if there is a bus service from the city centre to Deepdale Retail Park and I keep telling people it’s coming. But so far not one bus has arrived.
“The reason for a bus service was to cut the number of car journeys into the shopping centre.
“I thought we were trying to be greener in this city. If I ran Deepdale Retail Park I’d be asking for my money back.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said the authority had talked to Preston Bus and Stagecoach, but they both thought the retail park was already “well served” by the No 14 Holme Slack Lane service which runs at the back of the park.
Talks were now going on with Preston City Council over the £85,910 deposit.