It's been some time since we posted anything about the cuts to the County Council's contract bus services that are due to come in on 3rd April 2016, so here is an update on the latest position.
Following a stakeholder consultation, to which the Bus Users' Group responded, the County Council set up a cross-party Cabinet Working Party on Buses to determine how best to mitigate the effects of its own decision to withdraw all funding for non-commercial bus services in the county.
The Working Party was given the remit to recommend how best to spend funding of £1M Capital funding in 2016-7 and an annual sum of £2M revenue funding, which had been set aside for "innovative" and community-led projects but for which the consultation uncovered little interest.
Sensibly, the Working Party is now considering a range of options to put back conventional bus services to many areas that were due to lose them, concentrating on daytime services to areas that would otherwise have no bus service at all.
Taking the Working Party recommendations and the previously announced commercial decisions by Stagecoach, the following changes are now anticipated. These are, however, subject to approval by the County Council and to acceptable quotes being received from operators. The Working Party meets again on 8th March following which an announcement is expected with details of the new timetables.
Service 1 Silverdale Shuttle
This service will be withdrawn, but a revised service 51 (see below) will provide some connections between Silverdale railway station and the village.
Service 5 Carnforth - Morecambe - Overton
Stagecoach will continue to operate the daytime service commercially and will add some early evening journeys. The last buses on weekdays will be as follows:
1840 Overton to Carnforth
1940 Overton to Morecambe
1840 Carnforth to Overton
1940 Carnforth to Morecambe.
Stagecoach will also operate the Sunday service commercially with last buses one hour earlier than weekdays.
Service 5B Brookhouse - Morecambe
Service 5C Carnforth - Crag Bank - Morecambe
Service withdrawn. Alternative service between Carnforth and Morecambe (not serving Crag Bank) is provided by service 5.
Service 7 Vale - Lancaster - Marsh
Most evening and all Sunday journeys withdrawn.
Service 7 will operate between Vale and Lancaster (George Street) every 20 minutes. Last departure from Lancaster will be at 1820.
Journeys between Marsh and Lancaster Bus Station will be renumbered service 11, and will run every 30 minutes with last journey from Lancaster at 1855. Journeys towards Marsh will be re-routed and will not stop outside the station entrance on Station Road. They will continue to stop near the railway station entrance on Meeting House Lane. Journeys towards the city centre will still serve Station Road.
Service 10 Lancaster - Ridge
All Sunday journeys are withdrawn and the last bus on Mondays to Saturdays from the Bus Station to Ridge will be at 1928.
Service 33 Morecambe - Bare Circular
Thus service will be continued "subject to a low cost solution being found".
Service 40 Lancaster - Preston
Stagecoach will continue to run the occasional journeys that currently run under contract meaning that there will be no change to this service.
Service 42 Lancaster - Blackpool
The evening journeys operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire will be withdrawn and Stagecoach will also withdraw some Sundays journeys operated commercially. The last bus from Lancaster to Blackpool will be at 1742 (Mondays to Fridays); 1740 (Saturdays) and 1710 (Sundays).
The last bus from Blackpool will be at 1924 (Mondays to Fridays); 1920 (Saturdays) and 1835 (Sundays)
Service 49 Lancaster - Halton
Some journeys will be extended beyond Halton to Warton via The Kellets and Carnforth to replace service 51. The last bus from Lancaster to Halton will be at 1900. The evening and Sunday service to Halton currently provided by services 81A/B is withdrawn. In Lancaster all buses will run via Aldrens Lane instead of Norfolk Street due to problems caused by parked cars.
Service 51 Lancaster - Kellets - Carnforth - Silverdale
This service in its current form will be withdrawn. Stagecoach service 49 (see above) will provide a replacement between Lancaster and Warton but there will be no evening or Sunday journeys.
A replacement service between Carnforth and Silverdale will be provided under contract to the county council but it is unclear at present what form this will take or who will operate it.
Service 55 Lancaster - Carnforth - Silverdale
This service will have a new timetable with extra running time to improve reliability. Peak hour journeys to and from Warton will continue but the single journey to Silverdale will be withdrawn.
The later evening journey provided by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire will be withdrawn.
Service 55C Carnforth - Crag Bank - Lancaster
Service withdrawn. Alternative services between Carnforth and Lancaster (not via Crag Bank) are provided by services 55 and 555
Service 80 Lancaster - Ingleton
This service will have a new timetable. On Mondays to Fridays the 0655 Ingleton to Lancaster bus will start at Hornby at 0717 and the 1850 Ingleton to Lancaster journey is withdrawn. There are changes to the times of some other journeys and the last bus from Ingleton will be at 1350.
On Saturdays the 0745 Ingleton to Lancaster is withdrawn and the first bus from Ingleton will leave at 0900 with two later journeys at 1125 and 1325. Buses will leave Lancaster at 1015 1215 and 1415 and there will be a later journey to Ingleton on service 81 via Kirkby Lonsdale at 1730.
Service 81A/B Lancaster - Kirkby Lonsdale
Stagecoach will run a commercial service, numbered 81, between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Hornby, Melling, Tunstall and Burrow. This service will not serve Wray or Wennington which are served by service 80 (see above).
Buses will run approximately once every two hours with all journeys operating via Melling, Tunstall and Burrow. The only journey on the existing 81A route via Gressingham will be the afternoon school bus from Kirkby Lonsdale, The last bus from Lancaster will be at 1730 and from Kirkby Lonsdale at 1715.
In addition, the County Council will provide a journey at "about" 1830 from Lancaster as far as Hornby and then "on request" as far as required towards Kirkby Lonsdale.
There will be no evening or Sunday service.
Service 89 / 89H Lancaster - Knott End-on-Sea
The County Council will provide a bus every 90 minutes - as now - on this service during the daytime with the last bus leaving Lancaster at 1820. There will be no evening or Sunday service and buses will no longer continue to Fleetwood on service 86 as this route is withdrawn. The operator of the new 89 service is not yet known.
In addition Stagecoach is introducing its new Summer Timetable for Lake District services on Saturday, 19th March with changes including a revised timetable for service 555 between Lancaster, Kendal and Keswick. Click here for details.