Bus route revived but more could go

Archway Travel, run by Michael Archer, has taken over the number 80 bus service from Blackpool to Preston.
Archway Travel, run by Michael Archer, has taken over the number 80 bus service from Blackpool to Preston.

Time is running out for residents to have their say on plans to cut funding for a dozen Fylde coast bus services.

As one service has risen from the ashes after being axed last month, residents are being urged to comment on proposals to pull subsidies for certain evening and Sunday routes by Friday’s consultation deadline.

The number 80 service, linking Blackpool and Preston, has been revived on a three-month trial basis by Archway travel after former operator Classic Bus North West went into administration.

Now, residents of Over Wyre face having three key buses – the 2C, 86 and 89 – scaled back to run only during the daytime on weekdays and say the changes will leave them isolated.

The services connect Knott End with Blackpool, Fleetwood and Lancaster, covering a large portion of rural Wyre.

Lancashire County Council put forward the idea to cut £3.8m from its budget over the next two years as it tries to find savings of £300m by 2018.

Stalmine councillor June Jackson said: “People are not going to be able to get to work if they work shifts in the evening. There’s also going to be a problem with people getting to hospital and things like that.

“We have people coming in to all the care homes to visit relatives and there is going to be no transport for them.

“There is basically no alternative transport over here.

“I would just like to see as many people as possible writing in – I think that can really make a difference.”

Across the Fylde coast, a dozen routes could be hit by the cut-backs, taking more than 250 journeys a week of the roads.

It comes as part of plans to reduce the £8m a year the council spends subsidising routes that are not commercially viable.

The deadline has already been extended by a week but Coun Jackson criticised the timing of the plans, which were announced on December 11.

She added: “People do not want to think about this sort of thing over the Christmas period and it means there is such a short time span to react to this.”

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