Campaigners call for support on bus petition

A petition has been started in Fleetwood to try and save bus routes that are under threat.  Angela Patchett from Fleetwood Bus Watch with the petition and supporters.

A petition has been started in Fleetwood to try and save bus routes that are under threat. Angela Patchett from Fleetwood Bus Watch with the petition and supporters.

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Have your say

A new ‘paper’ petition has been set up in a bid to try to save a number of vital bus services in Fleetwood.

And David Stead, of Falmouth Avenue, Rossall, who started the campaign, is urging people worried about the looming loss of the buses to sign the form in bid to try to save them.

The under-threat bus services - 74, 75, 84A (evening and weekends), and 86 are bus routes not deemed to be commercially viable without subsidies from Lancashire County Council.

But County Hall has announced the funding will be slashed from April 2 as part of the massive £262m saving needed due to Government cutbacks, leaving the services likely to be scrapped.

People who want to have their say about the buses can already take part in County Hall’s online consultation at: http://www3.lancashire.gov.uk/corporate/consultation/responses/response.asp?ID=283

But Mr Stead, of the Fleetwood Bus Watch campaign, said the paper petition added an extra voice to those who wanted to try and stop the bus cutbacks, and it had greater detail.

Mr Stead, 77, a retired Manchester fire officer who retired to Fleetwood with his wife 11 years ago, said: “All kinds of people will be affected if these buses are lost.

“People going to work, children going to school, passengers trying to get a direct service to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, old people living in out-of-the way estates, people trying to get between Fleetwood and Knott End.

“It could be devastating and cause some genuine social isolation.

“At the moment pensioners have their bus passes but they are no use without buses.

“It’s alright saying we will still have the number 14 and the number 1 buses but they don’t take the same routes.

“This petition is a detailed document, we are aiming to tell Lancashire County Council exactly why we will be affected by the loss of a particular bus.”

The petition will be available to sign in the narthex, the foyer area at the back of St Peter’s Church on Lord Street, when the church hosts coffee morning on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9am to 3pm.

The daily daytime 74 bus runs from Fleetwood to Blackpool Victoria via stops including Pheasants Wood estate in Thornton and also Cleveleys and Poulton town centres.

Another daily daytime route, the 75, runs between Fleetwood and Preston, and is popular with commuters who work in Preston.

The 84A is an evening and weekend service linking to Fleetwood to Blackpool via Cleveleys and Poulton, while the 86 is the only bus route linking Fleetwood to Knott End and Over Wyre.

Angela Patchett, who is one of the campaigners, said: “The more people who sign the petition, the more powerful it will be.”

And Fleetwood Town Council member, Coun Rita Hewitt, who was offering support and advice for the petition said: “We will be sending it to the transport co-ordinator at County Hall who will then consider it.”

Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport at Lancashire County Council, said: “We fully recognise the impact that this will have on people who rely on frontline services such as subsidised bus services.

“However, the government has made clear that it will make further substantial cuts to council budgets over the coming years.”