£1m boost for county bus services

John Asquith, Operations Manager of Preston Bus
John Asquith, Operations Manager of Preston Bus
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Bus users in Lancashire are set to benefit from a raft of new and extended services from next month.

But while there will be welcome changes for many public transport users there could be some less welcome adaptations to routes - including the axeing of a bus link to Sainsbury’s at Bamber Bridge. Some route numbers will change too.

The County Council has awarded contracts for the new services, to be funded by an extra £1m investment.

Rotala Preston Bus is one of the companies which will be steering many of the changes .

Operations Manager John Asquith said the boost to local services will create 30 new jobs for drivers and the company will need 13 more buses.

The council’s new Tory administration agreed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services earlier this year, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m. The first changes will be seen on December 11 with more to follow in February.

Mr Asquith said:“It’s a real positive for public transport in Lancashire.”

The budget to subsidise services had been cut from £7m to £2m by the previous administration in a bid to save money.

Cabinet member County Coun Keith Iddon said: “All county councillors have been involved in shaping these improvements by offering their local knowledge about where people will most benefit by being able to use public transport where there’s currently no service at all, or where having more frequent services will make using the bus a much more convenient option than it is at present. We’ve worked hard to make sure these proposals make the most impact with the resources available.”

There will be changes to Preston, Chorley, Fylde and South Ribble services. See ‘bus improvements’ at www.lancashire.gov.uk for full details.