‘Community’ bus loss would be a bitter blow

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A petition calling for a bus service to be saved has been sent to county hall.

Passengers who use the 114 Preston to Chorley bus fear it will disappear if Lancashire County Council – under proposed budget cuts – withdraws all funding for subsidised services. The Preston Bus-run service has become a vital lifeline for folk in villages such as Whittle-le-Woods and Clayton-le-Woods.

They see it as ‘a community bus’ where folk meet and chat and swap books and jigsaws.

In a letter to the leader of Lancashire County Council, Jennifer Mein, they state: “Many people are of an older age, and it is a way of meeting friends, retaining a necessary amount of independence, to be able to obtain their own shopping; have a cup of tea in St Lawrence Church with friends and the people who provide a service will also suffer should you make this decision.”

They add: “Hospital visits using the 114 service makes a big difference as the 125 and 126 buses no longer call into the hospital.”

Preston Bus, in an open letter to passengers, warned of the consequences of the cuts, which it says will affect the entirely subsidised services 12, 12A, 13, 75 (A), 112 and 114.

MD Bob Dunn wrote: “These cuts will reduce the viability of travelling by bus for many, from those living in Preston wanting to travel late at night, or those in rural villages, which will be left completely isolated.

“These proposals will increase congestion in city and town centres, as well as go against the ‘green’ agenda pursued by central and local government.”

Preston Bus is urging people to object to their MPs and local councillors.