Lancashire County Council’s new Conservative administration — elected in May — has pledged to restore some bus services that were cut under the previous Labour administration.
Funding was reduced from £7million to £2million, leading to many evening and Sunday routes being withdrawn last year. The budget has now been increased to £3million, although only about one-third of the sum is expected to be used in the current financial year. Councillors are being consulted over draft proposals for improving services, and for their own ideas.
Lancashire says its priorities are ‘to restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas where people who don’t drive or own a car rely most on public transport, increase the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand and stabilise the network to support routes which might otherwise disappear’.
First call on the extra funding is to replace a commercial service being withdrawn by Arriva in Skelmersdale. Other proposals will be presented to the cabinet during September.