Last buses head out of Chipping and Ribchester

Bus protesters outside County Hall ahead of the budget meeting last week
Bus protesters outside County Hall ahead of the budget meeting last week

The last buses run in and out of Chipping, Ribchester and Hurst Green on Saturday, leaving the rural area in what bus campaigners have described as “transport poverty.”

Residents who use the Longridge, Blackburn and Clitheroe routes also lose this service at the weekend.

This follows Lancashire County Council’s rubber stamping of its decision to cut all bus subsidies at its meeting last Thursday.

Placard-waving protesters gathered outside County Hall, but their plea for rural bus services to be saved fell on deaf ears.

Chipping ‘Save Our Bus’ chairman Sharon Pinkett said: “Everyone was absolutely gutted, shocked. We really thought we would get a stay of execution...a little bit of time to sort something out.

“I don’t think the councillors had any idea of what the impact is going to be. No way should they leave communities without any buses or any kind of transport.”

David Hudson, who is spearheading the campaign in Ribchester, says that unless alternatives can be put in place they will be “living in transport poverty.”

“We need a solution that gets our under 18’s to school in Preston, Clitheroe and Blackburn; allows people to travel to and from work; gives access to surrounding towns, for hospital and medical appointments and gives freedom of choice where to shop,” he said.

Around 30 people went to County Hall from Chipping and Ribchester and she said some stayed until 10pm and others until the meeting ended. Sharon has now sent invitations through to seven key county councillors to come to Chipping and attempt to travel around the area without their cars.