An 11th hour U-turn on a plan to provide a replacement bus service for a village has left residents enraged and upset.
Sabden residents were shocked when County Coun. John Fillis, the Member for Highways an and Transport, at Lancashire County Council, refused to back the proposal to put out tenders for a new two hourly bus service running Monday to Saturday, between Clitheroe, Sabden and Burnley.
Resident Mrs Margaret Parson said: “This decision is outrageous and immoral.
“How can a Labour controlled make a decision that leaves an entire village without any public transport at all?
“The statistics they are using to justify this decision also incorrect because there are many people who have bus passes, including pensioners and students.’
Residents launched a massive protest campaign after their one and only bus service was axed as pat of swingeing budget cuts by Lancashire County Council.
Many residents took to social media to criticise the decision, including Joanna Barlow who said: “Yesterday to the astonishment of Sabden residents and other councillors, County Councillor Alan Fillis, despite a positive recommendation from the council’s own Cabinet Working Group on Bus Services, dealt a massive blow to our community by refusing to subsidise a bus service through our village.
“After this Sunday, over 1200 residents will no longer have access to public transport. No access to employment, education or vital public services for many children, families and elderly residents.
“Worried parents do not know how they will get their children to college and many families are facing unemployment and elderly residents do not know how they will reach vital health services at nearby hospitals.
Councillors have confirmed that there is ‘money in the pot’ but County Coun. Fillis as yet has failed to explain to the hard-working families and pensioners in our community why they do not deserve it.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “We have considered the impact of the changes being made by Transdev to its commercial bus network in east Lancashire and looked at the options for providing a link to Sabden and Read.
“The decision taken by the cabinet member for highways and transport is that the council’s very difficult financial position means it is not possible to replace what was a commercial bus service with one supported by the county council.”