Bus service cut-backs ‘are just the beginning’

Lancashire County Council cabinet member for transport John Fillis
Lancashire County Council cabinet member for transport John Fillis

Villages cut off from Blackpool and Poulton after a key bus service was cancelled without warning have been told it could cost £250,000 a year to reinstate it.

Lancashire’s transport chief has warned the council can no longer support “failed bus services” or set up new subsidised routes.

The news follows the collapse of the number 80 service from Blackpool to Preston, which travelled through Inskip and Great Eccleston.

Classic Bus North West announced on December 20 it would cease trading due to financial problems after just 11 days running the service.

In an email to the chairman of Inskip with Sowerby Parish Council Coun John Fillis, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We recognise that CBNW’s decision has significant implications and would leave the route between the villages of Catforth, Inskip and Elswick without links to Poulton and Blackpool.

“The council is no longer able to subsidise failed commercial bus routes or establish new subsidised routes.

“The facts are that subsidising bus routes is no longer part of our statutory responsibility, the current governments austerity measures imposed on the county means we will be reducing the current bus subsidies dramatically over the next three years.”

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.