Fury over cuts amid fears of a ‘ghost town’

Bus cuts
Bus cuts

Plans to axe bus routes and libraries in Lancashire in the face of savage Government cuts have today been branded an ‘attack’ on rural areas.

Former Preesall mayor Derek Hudson said if proposed cuts to public services go ahead it will have a severe impact on parts of Over Wyre.

Coun Paul Hayhurst

Coun Paul Hayhurst

Lancashire County Council needs to save £65m over the next two years and cabinet members will tomorrow discuss a raft of measures put forward to meet the shortfall.

Coun Hudson, who sits on Preesall Town Council, said plans to cut all funding for subsidised bus services were ‘disgusting’.

He added: “It will be a complete disaster and we will end up as a ghost town.

“It seems like a complete and utter attack on the rural community.”

All four of Preesall’s bus routes are subsidised by the council because they are not profitable, meaning the cuts could leave the town without any bus services.

County Hall bosses have also proposed pulling funding for the Knott End ferry worth £85,000 a year, while there are fears the town’s library could be one of the 40 in the county that would close under plans to save £7m.

Meanwhile, one independent county councillor has warned the cuts would leave parts of rural Fylde five miles from a bus service.

Coun Paul Hayhurst said he will meet councils about setting up community-run buses, despite ‘grave concerns’ over the plans for alternative services.

The Fylde West councillor said: “If people can’t go to the health centres, colleges or employment it is a real problem in this area.

“It is storing up problems for the county council. I am going to vote against any proposals involving bus cuts.”

Deputy council leader David Borrow warned: “It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of our financial situation.”