Lancashire County Council has stepped in to keep a vital link for bus users in Staining, following a decision to withdraw the service by Blackpool Transport.
From Monday 19 December, Blackpool Transport will withdraw their local bus Service 20, which runs between Staining and Blackpool. The number of customers travelling on the service has not returned to pre-pandemic levels and is no longer commercially viable for them to continue.
Lancashire County Council will introduce a temporary replacement local bus service, numbered 72, to maintain a public transport link between Staining, Victoria Hospital and Blackpool Town Centre.
County Councillor Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, agreed for the temporary replacement whilst the council evaluates how best to maintain access to a bus service to Blackpool for residents of Staining.
He said: "It is important to maintain this vital transport link for the residents of Staining with the withdrawal of Service 20 to the village.
"We have an ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan to improve the number of passengers on buses across Lancashire. Our priority is to provide services for people to get to where they need to go to, when they need to get there.
"In January, Lancashire residents will be able to benefit from the nationwide £2 single-ticket price which we hope will encourage more people to use the bus.
"For the number 72, the county council is able to utilise emergency short term central government funding to replace the service.
"But in order to keep the service going, we need our residents to work with us and use the service to demonstrate that it can be run sustainably. As we go into the New Year, we will be assessing options on how best we can maintain this transport link between Staining and Blackpool in the long-term."
The county councillor for Fylde West, John Singleton added: "It is vital Staining Village maintains a link to important destinations such as the hospital. I sincerely hope there is a good take-up of this service so that we can make the service permanent. "
The new Service 72 will operate every hour during Monday to Saturday daytime between Staining and Blackpool Town Centre, via Victoria Hospital and Layton Square. The service will be operated by Transpora Group Ltd (previously Coastliner) on behalf of Lancashire County Council.
There will be no changes to the county council's other subsidised bus route serving Staining, Service 75 which will continue to operate between Fleetwood, Poulton, Kirkham and Preston by Blackpool Transport.