Bus services... is this the final cut?

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Several bus services across the Ribble Valley, which many feared would face the axe after savage budget cuts, will be kept on the road.

Although some of the services through villages have been dropped county councillors have used a £2m. pot of cash to keep others considered to be vital, although changes have been made to the times and routes in some cases.

The cuts came after Lancashire County Council announced it would cease the £7.5m. subsidy for 113 routes across Lancashie. Protestors across the Ribble Valley launched a campaign to save their buses and many even went along to lobby county councillors at their budget meeting.

Even though some services have been axed a further £1m. is available for new services through the Parish Based Partnership.

County Coun. John Fillis said: “The county council’s financial situation could hardly be more difficult, with the need to spend all of our usable reserves just to balance the budget over the next two years.

“The decision to withdraw bus service contracts was one of many very difficult decisions we have taken to agree next year’s budget, in full knowledge of the impact it would have on those who rely on them to get to work, access education, visit the doctors or do their shopping.

“The cross-party cabinet working group, and the £2m budget to support transport for communities, has been established to mitigate the impact of the contracts being withdrawn and I will carefully consider their recommendations in due course.”

Here is a round up of what is happening to the bus services:

Services to be axed: 5A Clitheroe, Longridge, Chipping, (Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings) 5B, Clitheroe, Longridge, Chipping, Garstang, (summer Thursday daytime). 7B Clitheroe local evening service. (Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening) 7S/72 Pendle Witch Hopper (summer Sunday daytime). 10 Clitheroe Hodder Valley Circular (Monday to Friday daytime). 231 Clitheroe-Accrington (Saturday daytime)

Services to stay: 2 Low Moor, Clitheroe, Chatburn, Grindleton/Sawley, service re-designed within Clitheroe. Service 2 (Low Moor) merges with service 4 (Peel Park) Monday to Saturday daytime only. Chatburn, Grindleton, Sawley served by revised service 7.

4 Fulwood to Longridge (Monday to Saturday daytime and Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings). Peak journeys to and from Chipping Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening to be withdrawn. 5 Chipping, Longridge, Whalley, Clitheroe (Monday to Saturday daytime. 7/7A/7B Clitheroe, Waddington, Chatburn, Nelson (daily daytime) service 7/7A to run Monday to Saturday between Clitheroe and Waddington, Grindleton and Chatburn, alternately serving Sawley or Downham two hourly maintaining extension to Nelson. Rimington no longer served.

14/14A Clitheroe, Whalley, Accrington, Royal Blackburn Hospital (Monday to Saturday daytime) Pilkington Bus will provide a 90 minute Monday to Saturday daytime service between Clitheroe and Accrington only and will operate peak journeys arriving/departing Clitheroe.

15 Chipping, Longridge, Ribchester, Blackburn (Monday to Saturday daytime and evenings) service maintained with single vehicle operation on similar two hourly frequency between Longridge and Blackburn. Brockhall and Langho also served by service 25 (Monday to Saturday daytime only) evening service withdrawn.

15 Chipping, Longridge, Mellor, Blackburn (Monday to Saturday daytime and evenings) Darwen Coach Service to provide two hourly daytime Monday to Saturday service between Mellor Brook, Mellor and Blackburn with pick ups for St Wilfrid’s High School pupils.

22 Clitheroe, Whalley, Blackburn (Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday daytime odd journeys) Transdev will continue to operate the first Sunday morning journey and the rest of the Sunday daytime service but later daily evening services withdrawn.

25 Clitheroe, Whalley, Brockhall, Mellor, Blackburn (Monday to Saturday daytime) service maintained with single vehicle operation on similar two hourly frequency and incorporated into Longridge and Blackburn service. Link from Brockhall and Langho maintained through to Blackburn maintained but no direct access to Clitheroe. Alternative indirect services available Monday to Saturday daytime.