Boost to buses with launch of improved evening and weekend services
People are being urged to make the most of new and improved evening and weekend bus services which have been launched across a number of key Lancashire routes this week.
The extra journeys have been introduced on a number of routes which are already popular during the daytime, but evening and weekend connections were limited or non-existent.
The investment is the first phase of a £34m programme to make buses the best travel option for more people. The major funding boost from the Department for Transport follows a successful joint bid by Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and local bus operators to support their Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP).
The improvements are as follows:
- Buses now run every hour during the evening on Service 22 connecting Clitheroe and Blackburn operating until around 11pm from Monday to Saturday, with some extra services on Sundays extending until around 6.30pm.
- New hourly evening journeys on the coastal Service 5 route linking Overton and Carnforth via Heysham and Morecambe on Monday to Saturday.
- New evening journeys on Service 42 which links Lancaster and Blackpool via Garstang and Poulton-le-Fylde, operating every 90 minutes from Monday to Saturday.
- Service 2 from Chorley to Blackburn previously had limited evening services linking Chorley and Abbey Village, but these will now be extended across the whole route linking through to Blackburn on Monday to Saturday. Sunday daytime services also extend across the whole route.
- An extra evening journey has been added to the timetable of Service 119 which operates between Chorley and Astley Village.
County Councillor Rupert Swarbrick, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Our aim is to get more people using buses by making them a more attractive and convenient option, and the funding we've received for our Bus Service Improvement Plan gives us the chance to make some really significant improvements.
"We'll be investing over £34m in our bus network and public transport infrastructure over the next 3 years, with the extra services introduced this week being just the start.
"These buses are already very well used and operate on a commercial basis during the daytime from Monday to Saturday. Introducing later evening and additional Sunday journeys extends the option of using the bus to people who want to travel at these times, whether they work late shifts, are visiting friends, or going out for an evening's entertainment.
"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."
Bus Minister, Richard Holden, added: "People up and down the country deserve a clean, reliable and affordable public transport system. That’s why we’ve provided Lancashire County Council with £34 million to boost its bus services.
"New evening and weekend services are great for local passengers, who will now benefit from new routes and more frequent services to make the most of the fantastic work, business and leisure opportunities Lancashire has to offer."
You can find out more about buses in Lancashire at lancashire.gov.uk/publictransport.
Notes to editors
Full details of the improved services, which began on Monday 27 November, are as follows.
Service 22 Clitheroe – Whalley – Blackburn – Royal Blackburn Hospital – Shadsworth
Lancashire County Council, in partnership with The Blackburn Bus Company, have revised the timetable to introduce an hourly Monday to Saturday evening service throughout the whole route. Additional Sunday daytime journeys from Blackburn to Shadsworth and Clitheroe have been introduced extending operation through to approximately 6.30pm. Transdev have also made changes to some Monday to Saturday morning and early evening journey, with some minor changes on Sundays.
Service 5 Overton – Heysham – Morecambe – Carnforth
Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Stagecoach, have revised the timetable to introduce an hourly Monday to Saturday evening service throughout the whole route.
Service 42 Lancaster – Garstang – Poulton – Blackpool
Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Stagecoach, have revised the timetable to introduce a Monday to Saturday evening service throughout the whole route, operating every 90 minutes.
Service 2 Chorley – Brinscall – Abbey Village – Blackburn (previously 2A)
Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Chorley Borough Council, have revised the route and timetable of the Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime service, extending it to operate hourly throughout the whole route between Chorley and Blackburn. The route on all journeys between Feniscowles and Blackburn has been revised to operate via Livesey Branch Road and Ewood. Stagecoach are continuing to operate these journeys on behalf of Lancashire County Council. There have been no changes to the Monday to Saturday daytime service operated on a commercial basis by The Blackburn Bus Company.
Service 119 Chorley – Astley Village – Chorley
Lancashire County Council, in partnership with Chorley Borough Council, have revised the route and timetable of the Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime service to operate hourly. The Sunday service journeys operate direct to Astley Village, no longer serving the Euxton Tesco car park, which can still be accessed along with other services at the bus stops on Southport Road. Stagecoach are continuing to operate these journeys on behalf of Lancashire County Council. There are no changes to the Monday to Saturday daytime service operated by RS Tyrer Ltd on behalf of the county council.