New boost to Lancashire bus services thanks to extra funding

People will have a shorter wait for their bus, and be able to travel later into the evening, thanks to recent improvements to a number of services.

The boost to services in Hyndburn, Preston and Lancaster also includes new links in Chorley, giving more people across Lancashire the option to catch the bus.

The boost to timetables has been made possible thanks to additional 'BSIP plus' funding received from HM Government in support of Lancashire's £34.1m Bus Service Improvement Plan.

Blackburn and Hyndburn

Passengers using Service 6/7 which operates from Blackburn bus station to Great Harwood, Accrington and Oswaldtwistle are already benefitting from a number of later services, with the final bus from Monday to Saturday now leaving Blackburn at 11.03pm. A number of later journeys have also been introduced on Sundays, extending the timetable beyond 6pm, until around 10pm, depending on point of departure.

Lancaster and Morecambe

A new circular route has been introduced in Morecambe, improving access to public transport across parts of the town, and boosting the frequency of services.

A new Service 6B/6C has merged some Service 6 journeys with Service 33 to offer the circular route. The new services will link across all the outer areas of Morecambe, Bare and Westgate, incorporating Service 33.

Service 6A will continue to operate between Morecambe, Westgate and Lancaster, and Service 6 will continue to operate between Morecambe and Westgate. Service 6B will operate anti-clockwise from Morecambe and Westgate, extending through Branksome to cover the Service 33 route through Bare back to Morecambe. Service 6C will operate the same route but in a clockwise direction from Morecambe, serving Bare before continuing to Branksome and Westgate back to Morecambe.

The new Services 6B and 6C will each run generally every hour Monday to Saturday, offering more journeys for Bare as well as linking to those shopping and leisure opportunities off Westgate.

Preston to Ormskirk

On Sunday 28 January, a regular evening service was introduced from Monday to Saturday on the route from Preston to Ormskirk via Longton and Tarleton.

The Service 2A departs around every hour from Preston beginning at 6.20pm until 10.30pm, with departures from Ormskirk starting at 7.32pm, with the final bus leaving at 10.27pm. These new journeys are being coordinated with Service 2 between Preston and Tarleton.

Preston to Blackpool

People using the Service 61 from Preston to Blackpool via Kirkham now have a shorter wait at the bus stop, thanks to more journeys being introduced on the route from Sunday 28 January.

Journeys have increased from every hour to every 30 minutes during the off-peak daytime from Monday to Saturday, with people also able to travel later into the evening thanks to the timetable being extended with last departures from Preston to Blackpool at 10pm, Preston to Wrea Green at 11:30pm and from Blackpool to Preston at 11:15pm.

Chorley

From Sunday 28 January, the route and timetable of Service 127 was extended, to create a new link through Astley Village to Chorley Hospital.

The extended service provides a direct link from Adlington and Lower Adlington to Chorley Hospital, together with maintaining a service through Astley Village. It continues to run from Middlebrook to Chorley via Adlington before extending to Chorley Hospital via Astley Village.

The service also runs more frequently, generally operating every hour throughout the day from Monday to Saturday.  The Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday short journeys between Chorley and Astley Village will continue to operate and has been renumbered Service 127 instead of Service 119.

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.

"Later services are often helpful to people who use the bus to get to and from work, as well as being convenient for anyone going out for the evening or visiting friends and family.

"I'm also really pleased that we are providing better links within the Chorley area so that more people have easy access to bus services, and there are more direct links to the hospital to help people get to their appointments.

"We'll be working closely with operators to build passenger numbers with the aim of making these services sustainable over the long term. I'd encourage as many residents as possible to try them out."

Roads Minister Guy Opperman added: "Local people deserve a modern, reliable, and affordable public transport system. I'm delighted to have worked alongside the local council and local Lancashire MPs to give Lancashire County Council more than £34million to boost its bus services.

"This is a fantastic result for passengers across Lancashire, from Blackburn and Lancaster to Preston and Blackpool, who will enjoy more frequent and later buses so they can get around more easily and with greater peace of mind."

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