Weekend bus route under threat over ‘lack of use’

editorial image

A weekend bus service which connects people living in Leyland and Farington Moss to Chorley and Preston is under threat.

The 115 route, which runs from Preston through Penwortham, Leyland and Chorley, has been withdrawn on Saturdays by J Fishwick and Sons.

An emergency service has been provided by Stagecoach in its place, and Lancashire County Council has agreed to fund a six-month replacement, while a review is carried out.

But if no alternative is found in the long-run, it will leave people living in Langdale Road in Leyland, and Croston Road in Farington Moss, with no access to public transport on Saturdays.

Parts of Whitestake and Euxton would also be affected.

And people in Farington and Whitestake would have to walk to Penwortham, New Longton or Lostock Hall to catch a bus to either Preston or Chorley.

Fishwicks decided to axe the Saturday service because they said it wasn’t busy enough, but the firm has kept the 115 service from Monday to Friday as it is still well-used midweek.

Lancashire County Council documents state: “According to on-bus surveys and electronic ticket machine data, there are approximately 5,500 passenger trips made per annum on the withdrawn journeys.

“This is an average of 110 weekly passenger trips made each Saturday, equating to approximately 12 per journey.

“Analysis of the passenger data shows that approximately half of the passenger trips made do have access to other alternative bus services, however not necessarily direct to the same destination without the need to connect in Preston, Leyland or Chorley.”

At present, the 115 service operates an hourly service in each direction between Preston and Chorley via Penwortham, Whitestake, Farington Moss, Earnshaw Bridge, Moss Side, Leyland, Euxton and Chorley Hospital during Monday to Friday daytime, together with the two hourly Saturday daytime service.

The decision by Lancashire County Council to fund a temporary service for a six-month period is costing £5,000.

This measure is to allow for a full assessment of the subsidised local bus services in the area to take place, before a long-term decision is made.