Sunday, 22 November 2015

Lancashire's Cuts Unveiled

Lancashire County Council recently announced its intention to cease ALL subsidy of public bus services that operate under contract to it from April 2016.

No definitive list of services affected appears to have been made public, but here is a list complied by the Bus Users' Group from bus operator publicity and the council's own website.  This may not be the definitive list and bus companies may decide to continue parts of these services without the subsidy. On the other hand, the loss of the subsidised journeys may result in some associated commercial journeys becoming unviable.

Also, any future reductions in service by commercial bus operators will not be replaced by the county council, leaving many marginally-profitable routes permanently at risk.

Buses within Lancaster District operated under contract to Lancashire County Council
(as identified in Stagecoach publicity and County Council website).
Service No.            Route                                                        Journeys under contract
      1                        Silverdale Station – Silverdale Village        Full service
      5                        Overton – Morecambe – Carnforth             Evenings and Sundays
      5B                     Brookhouse – Morecambe                          Full service
      5C                     Carnforth – Crag Bank – Morecambe           Full service
      7                        Marsh – Railway Stn – City Centre – Vale    Evenings and Sundays 
     10                      Lancaster – Freehold – Ridge                      Evenings and Sundays 
     33                      Morecambe – Branksome – Bare (Circular)  Full service
     42                      Lancaster – Garstang – Blackpool             Evenings and Winter Sundays
     51                      Lancaster – Kellets – Carnforth                    Evenings and Sundays    
     51                      Lancaster - Carnforth - Silverdale           Carnforth - Silverdale section
     55                     Lancaster – Hest Bank – Carnforth             Late Evening journeys
    55C                    Carnforth – Crag Bank – Lancaster – RLI       Full service       
      80*                   Lancaster – Hornby – Bentham – Ingleton     Full service    
     81A*                 Lancaster – Arkholme – K/ Lonsdale  at least Evenings and Sundays 
     81B*                 Lancaster –  Wennington – K/Lonsdale at least Evenings and Sundays     
     89/89H             Lancaster – Glasson – Pilling – Knott End            Full service
     146/147           Lancaster – Quernmore – Abbeystead                 Full service

·         *These services are described as being “in partnership” between the Council and the bus operator and the level of subsidised operation is unclear.



  1. Is it possible from the information above to identify those communities which stand to lose (a) all buses and (b) their evening and Sunday buses, and can I suggest that LCC should be ask to clarify the position in respect of the services marked with an asterisk so that the risk can be more fully understood? This would help to determine where there is a need to lobby local councillors.

  2. You mention the 80 Services, Lancaster/Ingleton. This was not included in the list in the Lancaster Guardian. Did the Guardian miss that one?

    1. Service 80 was indeed missing from the list supplied to the Guardian by the County Council. The council's website however does identify it as a service that is supported by LCC. The Bus Users' Group is seeking a meeting with council officers to clarify this and other issues.

    2. If it's of any interest, the villages effected are:
      81A Caton, Brookhouse, Claughton, Hornby, Arkholme, Gressingham, Whittington, Kirkby.
      81B Caton, Brookhouse, Claughton, Hornby, Wray, Tatham, Wennington, Melling, Tunstall, Burrow, Kirkby.
      80 Caton, Brookhouse, Claughton, Hornby, Wray, Tatham, Wennington, Low Bentham, High Bentham, Burton in Lonsdale, Ingleton
      Of course Kirkby is in Cumbria and the Bentham's, Burton and Ingleton are in Yorkshire. The others are all Lancaster Parish Councils.

  3. Because of the way that Council Tax Bands are configured people in rural areas pay higher Council Tax than their city Counterparts.

    For example, taking all the (Lancashire) Parishes affected by the proposed removal of subsidies from the 81A, 81B & 80 services, they pay £1,677 per Council Tax dwelling. The equivalent figure for the City Wards is only £1,291.
    We are therefore paying an additional amount of £386 every year to receive the same service as people in the city – and it is our bus service that they seek to remove the subsidy from!

  4. Stagecoach tell me that they will be making no decisions on the future of these services until Lancaster County Council move from a "Proposal" to a "Decision"

    1. John,
      Thank you for your contribution. Stagecoach's public position is just what we would have expected although I have no doubt they have drawn up contingency plans. By a "decision" they presumably mean the full council meeting in February, which would ratify the cabinet decision recently announced.

    2. John,
      Are you able to tell us the source of your information at Stagecoach? By email to if your prefer.