Red faced bus company bosses had to apologise today after villagers were mistakenly told their one remaining bus service was to be scrapped.
A letter sent out to a Sabden resident from Burnley and Pendle Transport incorrectly confirmed that the number 27 service, which runs from Clitheroe to Burnley and back, was set to continue but Sabden would be taken off the route due to the slashing of subsidies from Lancashire County Council which makes it unviable.
The news soon spread around the tightknit community as for many people the bus service is their only means of transport to get to school, work and college. A social media campaign was launched to fight the cuts with several people protesting to the county council and MP Mr Nigel Evans.
A spokesman for Transdev said yesterday the news in the letter was “inaccurate’ but pointed out that while the Sabden service would continue until further notice he could not guarantee changes would not be made in the future.
The spokesman said: “ We are sorry that the letter has caused so much upset. Like all bus companies we have been forced to look at the services we offer after the withdrawal of subsidies by Lancashire County Council which has had a devastating impact on our business.
“We are currently evaluating all our Mainline routes and it is proposed to withdraw services to Sabden after 8pm on evenings and Sunday services but this will not happen until after April 2nd.’’
The spokesman confirmed that the daytime Monday to Saturday service would continue as before and no initial changes were on the table at the moment but he could not rule out this would happen in the future with a possibilty of a reduced service offered between 9-30am and 5-30pm.
Any changes the company proposes to make would have to be presented to a county council Cabinet working group which had been set up to find ways of reducing the impact of the bus service cuts to rural areas. A £2m. pot has been set aside to help with the remedies.