Scott Smith 16x9

Better evening bus services begin in East Lancs

People in East Lancs will have better options to use the bus for work and leisure during the evening thanks to new links which launched this week.

The timetable extensions started on Sunday 26 November thanks to new government funding for buses supported by Lancashire County Council.

Services 1, 3 and 5 which link different parts of Burnley will have a number of extra journeys in the evening, operating until around 11pm from Monday to Saturday, and until 9pm on Sunday.

A later departure will be introduced on the 'mainline' M2 service from Burnley to Clitheroe via Padiham and Whalley, with the last buses leaving from Burnley and Clitheroe stations at 10.58pm from Monday to Saturday.

There will also be later services on the 'mainline' M6 route from Burnley to Barnoldswick via Nelson and Colne from Monday to Saturday. The last bus from Burnley to Skipton will leave at 7.45pm, the last bus from Burnley to Colne will leave at 11.30pm, and the last bus from Skipton to Burnley will leave at 8.55pm. There will also be some minor tweaks to the rest of the timetable.

Another later journey will also be introduced on the Witch Way service X43 from Burnley to Manchester via Rawtenstall, departing Burnley for Rawtenstall at 10.40pm. This service from Monday to Thursday will complement the later services already operating on Fridays and Saturdays.

The improved services have been made possible thanks to additional 'BSIP plus' funding received from HM Government in support of Lancashire's £34.1m Bus Service Improvement Plan, and will be operated by Burnley Bus Company in partnership with Lancashire County Council.

County Councillor Scott Smith, Lancashire County Council lead member for highways and active travel, said: "Thanks to the funding we've received from government for our Bus Service Improvement Plan we're making some big improvements to services in Lancashire.

"One of our main aims is to encourage more people to use the bus by providing extra journeys at times that people find convenient.

"There is often demand for later services from people who would like to use the bus to get to work, and we hope these later services will also appeal to people going out for the evening or visiting friends and family.

"We'll be working closely with operators to build passenger numbers with the aim of making these services commercially sustainable over the long term, and I'd encourage everyone to support them."

Roads Minister Guy Opperman said: "People up and down the country deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. That is why we have provided Lancashire County Council with over £34 million to boost its bus services.

"Supporting the Council with extending services 1, 3 and 5 is fantastic for local residents, who will now be able to see loved ones, attend medical appointments and get around Burnley and East Lancashire, more easily."

Lancashire's Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), a partnership between Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, and bus operators, is delivering a range of improvements to make services more frequent, reliable and affordable with the support of the Department for Transport.