Preston's Park and Ride among Council services suspended during lockdown

Preston's Park and Ride bus service will be suspended from tomorrow (Friday, November 6) as council services are impacted by a new month-long lockdown.

By Matthew Calderbank
Thursday, 5th November 2020, 10:05 am
Updated Thursday, 5th November 2020, 10:14 am

The city's Park and Ride is among a number of services to be cut or reduced in response to the new national lockdown which has come into force today (Thursday, November 5).

Lancashire County Council (LCC) said the temporary suspension of its Park and Ride is part of a countywide effort to make the lockdown as effective as possible by minimising contact between people.

It said the main purpose of the service is to provide transport to town centre shops and offices, most of which will be closed for the next four weeks.

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Preston's Park and Ride bus service will be suspended from tomorrow (Friday, November 6) as council services are impacted by a new month-long lockdown.

It means the council-run bus service from the Capitol Centre in Walton-le-Dale will cease after the last bus on Friday, November 6, and will remain out of service until Thursday, December 3 "at the earliest", said LCC.

The site will be fully closed with no access for parking, but the drive-through coronavirus testing facility situated on a cordoned off section of the Park and Ride site will remain in operation.

Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "The coronavirus situation in Lancashire is already very serious, and it’s clear that action is now urgently needed on a national scale to ensure that our health service is not overwhelmed.

"While we all want to see the back of the pandemic, and for life to return to normal, it is apparent that this isn't going to happen any time soon, and our priority must be to do all we can to protect each other, and particularly the vulnerable, from the virus.

The Harris' museum and library will remain shut for the duration of the lockdown

"One key difference between where we are now, compared with the situation we faced in March, is that we know more about the virus, and have been able to put changes in place to ensure our services can continue to operate, with restrictions in place to protect those using them, as well as our staff.

"It may still be necessary to make more changes as further government guidance emerges, or as part of the local response, and I would ask people to check our website to keep up to date.

"I'm grateful for people's understanding and cooperation at this difficult time, and would ask everyone to play their part in protecting themselves, their family and their community."

What about other Council-run services?

One of the most widely used services affected by the first lockdown was the county council's recycling centres, but there will be no changes to the current service this time around, as visits are still allowed under the new lockdown regulations.

Most of the county council's services will remain unaffected as many buildings and operations have already been adapted so that people can continue to access them, while ensuring the public and staff are protected from the virus.

But from today (Thursday, November 5), there will be some changes to registration services, libraries, museums, and public transport, in response to new government legislation on the nationwide lockdown.

People are also being asked to keep an eye online for any further changes which may be made in future as part of the local emergency response to the pandemic.

Weddings

Weddings and civil partnerships can't go ahead during the lockdown, and services that had been planned during the lockdown period will need to be postponed.

The Council said its officers are grateful for the cooperation and understanding shown by the disappointed couples they have already contacted, and will be doing their best to help them make new arrangements over the coming days and weeks.

It added that where services need to be postponed, any fees paid so far will be carried over to the new booking.

Libraries

The new national restrictions mean libraries can’t be open for browsing, but will be allowed to continue offering services from the door, and for essential internet access.

This includes the library at The Harris in Preston, which is now closed as part of the new national restrictions.

But people can still order books online and collect them at the entrance. This includes the 'six of the best' service, which allows people to collect a bag of books selected by library staff at the door.

Libraries will be open for doorstep collections and returns on their usual days, but hours will be reduced. They will now open 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.

People can book 45-minute slots to use the public computers, with priority for those needing to search for and apply for jobs, make Universal Credit claims, or complete other important online applications.

Sessions can be pre-booked by calling 0300 123 6703, or by visiting the library. In addition Padiham Library is set to remain closed until the New Year to allow building work to take place.

Museums

Museums are also due to close from today (Thursday, November 5). This will affect Preston's Harris Museum, Clitheroe Castle Museum, and the Judges Lodgings Museum in Lancaster, which usually opens at weekends between August and early November.

Clitheroe Castle Museum will be closed from today for the duration of the lockdown, and the final scheduled opening of the Judges Lodgings Museum this season, which was due to take place this weekend, has now been cancelled.

Recycling Centres

One of the most widely used services affected by the first lockdown was the county council's recycling centres, but there will be no changes to the current service this time around, as visits are still allowed under the new lockdown regulations.

Measures to ensure sites can operate safely whilst also maintaining social distancing were introduced when they reopened in the summer to minimise the risk to visitors and staff, however people are asked to only make essential visits, and check online about temporary changes which have been introduced due to the pandemic.

Coronavirus testing sites

The drive-through coronavirus testing facility situated on a cordoned off section of the Walton-le-Dale Park and Ride site will remain in operation, however its car park and the car park at the Portway site in Preston will otherwise be closed.

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You can check on the full list of changes to Lancashire County Council services at www.lancashire.gov.uk.

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