A new bus service starting next week will restore regular public transport to a number of villages north of Lancaster.
Investment by Lancashire County Council to improve rural links has resulted in a new daytime service for Arkholme, Gressingham and Whittington.
Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire Ltd have introduced a new 582 bus service.
The regular two-hourly bus service operating Monday to Saturday daytime will run between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Caton, Brookhouse, Hornby, Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington, with the section between Gressingham and Whittington supported by Lancashire County Council.
The new Service 582 is an extension to the existing commercial service from Kirkby Lonsdale to Skipton, and will also connect with Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire’s wider North Yorkshire Craven Connection network Services 580 and 581 offering through links to Ingleton, Settle and Skipton.
“I’m very pleased to be able to restore a regular bus service for these villages,” said Andrew Snowden, county councillor and lead member for highways and transport.
“When we increased the budget to support buses, all county councillors were invited to shape the improvements by offering their local knowledge about where people will most benefit and where there is unmet demand.
“We’ve listened to what people have told us about the local need for these buses, and the difference they will make to their lives.
“The new contracts are for three years I’d ask that everyone support these services to help us sustain them.
“Improving public transport is one of our priorities as it supports our economy, widening access to opportunities for work and education. Buses also provide journeys for essential activities such as seeing friends and family, visiting the shops and attending vital appointments.”
The first buses on weekdays will leave Lancaster bus station at 6.45am and 7.45am, and go from Booths supermarket in Kirkby Lonsdale at 7.30am and 10.15am.
There are then services every two hours, with the last services leaving Lancaster at 3.45pm, and Kirkby Lonsdale at 8.15pm.
The county council last year agreed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m. More at www.lancashire.gov.uk.