Worry over '˜disastrous' bus changes

Concerns have been raised over looming cuts to a South Ribble bus service.

Friday, 13th January 2017, 2:30 pm
Updated Friday, 13th January 2017, 3:31 pm
Stagecoach bus

Stagecoach has announced from February 5 it is cancelling the 150/151 service from Preston bus station to Higher Walton and Bamber Bridge.

The company said the decision was due to low passenger numbers, and advised commuters to catch service 113 instead, which will be rerouted to serve Higher Walton.

But users are worried the 113 - which takes in Wigan - will suffer delays, causing attendance problems for school and college pupils.

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Harry Mills of Gregson Lane uses the 150/151 to get to Cardinal Newman College.

He said: “It is highly likely that the service will not run on time at peak times taking into account traffic in Wigan, Leyland, Bamber Bridge and finally Preston at rush hour. Furthermore this service will be an hourly service, making it all the more inconvenient.”

He said the new timetable would see him arrive at the college stop with nine minutes spare, but there are regularly delays of 20 minutes due to morning traffic. To ensure punctuality, he would be forced to use a bus, getting him to the college an hour and 10 minutes early. He claims local high school pupils would be similarly affected.

Coun Barrie Yates said: “It’s a disaster really, this service is much needed, especially in rural areas.”

Stagecoach said the 150/151 change was part of a wider set of changes.

A spokesman said: “The removal of the number 7 and 150/151 services is due to a low number of passengers using these routes, deeming the services unsustainable and by re-routing the 113 service, we aim to cause the least amount of inconvenience.”