Bus stop makeovers are just the ticket for travellers in Longridge

Most of Longridge's bus stops are to get a makeover, paid for by two housing developers.

By Brian Ellis
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:49 pm

More than £230,000 will be spent on improving up to a dozen stops in the town and possibly others along the busy route through Grimsargh and Ribbleton to Preston city centre if the budget allows.

All the cash has come from levies on firms building two housing estates in Chipping Lane and Whittingham Road.

County council chiefs will be asked tomorrow (Thursday) to approve the transfer of the money into the capital programme to begin planning which bus stops will be refurbished and how.

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Officers say they have identified at least 12 bus stops in the town which need upgrading. They include stops on Berry Lane, King Street, Derby Road, Kestor Lane and Preston Road.

"The proposed works would see the majority of bus stops in Longridge town centre upgraded to provide fully accessible high quality bus stop infrastructure," says a report to the County Hall cabinet.

"The improvements would include upgrading the stops to be Equality Act 2010 compliant with raised kerbs, marked bus stop boxes to prevent vehicles parking at the stops, timetable information and, where advantageous and possible, high-quality shelters with seating and lighting.

Most of the town's bus stops will get an upgrade.

"Whilst the (funding) could be used anywhere on the bus route between Longridge and Preston, public transport officers are of the view that the contribution would initially be best spent on improving bus stop infrastructure in Longridge.

"Bus patronage is more concentrated in the central area of Longridge and further along the bus route the stops between Ribbleton and Preston have already been improved to a standard required by the Equality Act.

"Should there be budget remaining once the Longridge stops are completed, officers will consider opportunities for upgrading key bus stops on the bus route between Longridge and Ribbleton . . . in particular in Grimsargh village centre."

The cash has come from Section 106 contributions made by companies who built houses on land east of Chipping Lane and at Whittingham Road.

The bus stop upgrades are part of LCC's plan to get more travellers to switch to the buses.

In the Chipping Lane development, applied for in October 2015, the developer agreed to pay £180,000 towards a "public transport priority corridor" between Longridge and Preston. The contribution was handed over once the 50th house was occupied in February 2020.

A similar S106 agreement was agreed in connection with the Whittingham Road project where more than £58,000 was promised towards bus stops in the vicinity of the development. Five stops have been identified on Derby Road and Kestor Lane.

The work in Longridge will involve raised kerbs, marked bus stop boxes to prevent vehicles parking there, timetable information and, where possible, high quality shelters with seating and lighting.

The council says formal consultation will be carried out as the scheme progresses.

The county council will spend more than £230,000 upgrading at least a dozen bus stops in the town.

Longridge Town Council has already requested that some of the funding from the Chipping Lane development can be used to improve a bus stop in Berry Lane.

LCC says the work is in line with its Bus Service Improvement Plan 2021, which recognises the importance of bus infrastructure in

encouraging bus use.