Loss of Orbital bus upsets commuters

Photo Neil Cross
Denise Standing, of Ribbleton, works in Fulwood and says the journey which used to take 10 minutes will now take nearly an hour when the bus cuts comes in

Photo Neil Cross Denise Standing, of Ribbleton, works in Fulwood and says the journey which used to take 10 minutes will now take nearly an hour when the bus cuts comes in

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A bus passenger angry at changes to a Preston service is planning to start a petition for fellow frustrated commuters.

Ribbleton resident Denise Standing works at Lathams of Broughton and says despite living 10 minutes’ drive away from the bakery, the dismantling of Preston Bus’s Orbit route will turn her working week into chaos – extending her journey to 50 minutes.

“It’s more expensive, much longer and so inconvenient,” said the 37-year-old. “I’ve got kids to get ready for school but I might as well walk to work.”

It comes after Preston Bus revealed major changes to its services, including the withdrawal of the 88A and 88C circular route, which will come into effect on April 4.

The service will be replaced by shorter routes. Thomas Calderbank of Preston Bus says there are three main reasons behind the cuts.

“Firstly traffic congestion forced us to put more buses on the roads to maintain reliability but that was costing us more money and we weren’t getting it back,” he said.

“The second is we now have to pay fuel duty which also increases costs.

“And lastly a lot of the people using these buses are concessions and use free bus passes from the council. Previously we were fully reimbursed for their travel but now we only get 55 per cent back. These changes will make the network run easier but it wasn’t a decision we took lightly and in places like Cottam, where hundreds of homes are being built, if there is a need we will fulfil it by putting more buses on.”

But Denise says she is going to set up a petition against the cuts and says she won’t be able to afford to get to work.

“I’ll have to get on two buses to get to work, meaning I’ll have to leave very early and it’s going to be very expensive,” she said.

“Lots of people are in the same position and something needs to be done.”