Passengers 'left in icy cold rain' after park and ride buses 'fail to stop'
One of Preston's popular park and ride sites is reportedly leaving passengers stranded in the adverse winter weather, with buses arriving at the site and failing to stop.
It has meant that Christmas shoppers avoiding city centre traffic by leaving their cars at the Portway site – operated by Rotala Preston Bus – have faced delays getting into the city.
One passenger reported that it took a third passing bus on Saturday, December 16, to get a ride into the city, with the first two taking on no passengers.
Another labelled the site as a ‘nightmare’, saying that “one left me to stand in the icy cold rain last week. I wasn’t impressed one bit”.
The two services that run from the site are the Number Two on weekdays from Hartington Road just off Port Way, and the 89 on Saturdays, providing direct pick ups from the site.
A spokesman for Rotala Preston Bus said: “We haven’t received any complaints from members of the public in the last few weeks over this issue.
“If we were to recieve them they would be investigated properly with CCTV used from the site to evidence any claims.
“With that in mind, Christmas is also the busiest time of the year. If a bus has reached the maximum amount of people it can carry a driver is legally not allowed to take on any more passengers.
“We do of course apologise for any delays caused.”
The disruptions come after the park and ride site in Walton-le-Dale was given a ‘use it or lose it’ ultimatum, where a two month life extension has been put in place by Lancashire County Council.
The council had already given the service a six month extension earlier in July 2017 after Rotala Preston Bus said it could no longer run it on a commercial basis.
The annual cost of running the Walton-le-Dale site and bus service is around Â£42,700.