All aboard as new Preston bus service is set to launch

Campaigner Linda Whyborn is urging residents to use the new bus . . . or risk losing it.
Campaigner Linda Whyborn is urging residents to use the new bus . . . or risk losing it.
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Thousands of stranded residents are being urged to “use it or lose it” when their bus service is finally restored next week.

Thousands of stranded residents are being urged to “use it or lose it” when their bus service is finally restored next week.

Even though campaigners say the new No 15 from Preston city centre to the Longsands area of Fulwood is unlikely to be the ticket to all their travel woes, locals are being advised to get onboard as often as they can.

“It is better than nothing,” said Linda Whyborn who started a petition to save the service when it was withdrawn in early September.

“It’s not quite what we were asking for, but it’s something.

“We will have to wait and see how things work. But in the meantime I would urge people to use it, or we could lose it.”

Lancashire County Council has launched the new Longsands route by juggling other services in the north of Preston.

But residents say it is only a partial solution, with residents in some parts facing a long walk to get to a bus stop.

The old No 14, which served a larger part of Fulwood, was withdrawn by Preston Bus on September 3 as uneconomical.

Since then around 3,500 people have had no bus service at all, leaving many with difficulties getting to work, school or college and others cut off from the shops and the Royal Preston Hospital during the dark winter months.

The new No 15 will start on Monday, running every hour, starting at 6.05am from the bus station on weekdays and 7.26am on Saturdays. It will end at 7.12pm. But there will be no service on Sundays.

“I’m very pleased that we have been able to restore a bus service for the Longsands area as we have been keenly aware of the impact on residents when Preston Bus withdrew their No 14 service,” said Coun Keith Iddon, LCC cabinet member for highways and transport.

Linda Whyborn added: “ It;s criminal that 3,500 people were left without a bus service for so long.”