Friday, 4 March 2016

Update on April Service Cuts

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This service will be withdrawn, but a revised service 51 (see below) will provide some connections between Silverdale railway station and the village.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Service withdrawn

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Service withdrawn.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Most evening and all Sunday journeys withdrawn.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.


  1. Great work . Do we know if the bus at 1830(ish) down the Lune Valley would operate via Wray on request. The last bus is going to be at 1715 from April 3rd otherwise.

  2. I'm afraid this isn't clear at present but there would seem to be no reason why it couldn't and we will press very strongly for this.

    1. Thanks.I live near Wray and depend on the buses. I finish work at 5.30pm so the later bus would a lifeline.

  3. I await with interest to see who will operate the 51 from Carnforth to Silverdale via the Yealands, under contract to the County Council. Two hourly perhaps?

  4. What time is the first bus from Ingleton to Lancaster on Monday and Friday is it still 7:45 from wray Village

    1. Richard,
      It will be 0715 from Ingleton, 0746 at Wray to arrive Lancaster 0821

  5. Being without a car and living in Whittington, how will we manage without any bus service ??????? Very disappointed. (service 81A)

    1. Mark,
      We did put a suggestion to the county council for a reduced service on the 81A but they appear not to have accepted it. The Bus Users' Group would be happy to work with paish councils or others in the villages concerned to try and develop ways of providing a service.

  6. Good news on the 89/89H - thank you for your work on all the routes affected... Happy to see we'll have a Saturday service if not a Sunday one!

  7. The 'H' element of the 89 service could be scrapped. The stops at Penny Street Bridge and Ripley Academy are within easy walking distance of the R.L.I. and would save time and fuel.

    1. Brian,
      I agree completely, but perhaps the county council feels that the small savings obtained would not be worth the protest from those who feel the hospital grounds "should" be served? Definitely one to watch if more savings need to be made though.

    2. Jim,
      You are right. It would be safer to retain the stop outside the main entrance to the Centenary Building. But the Magical Mystery Tour down to the Medical Unit 2 could be scrapped. I have never seen a passenger there, and the turning area can be blocked by inconsiderate parking.

    3. Not only that, but due to the difficulties in turning at MU2 and the lack of passengers buses have been known to miss the stop out altogether, something which should not be encouraged.

  8. Burrow has been spelt wrong. Can it be corrected so as not to confuse people.

    1. Thanks for pointing out the mistake. It's now corrected.

  9. Saturday buses from brookhouse - now the only one that gets people to work before 9 has gone ?

    1. We understand that there will be a service 81 bus starting from Hornby at 0756, picking up at Brookhouse, Black Bull 0805 and arriving Lancaster 0820 on Saturdays.

  10. Ok thanks for the reply that makes more sense

  11. What will the 81 A/B timetable be as it will not now be going through Wray?

    1. Unfortunately for technical reasons we are unable to post the timetables on this site, but we can send copies by email. Please email with your request.

  12. Can I make the point that the afternoon service from QES to Lancaster via Whittington etc. is not the only school related bus on the old 81A route.
    The 7.45 from the Dragons Head Whittington finishing in George St. is the bus used by all the Lancaster Grammar and LGG pupils to get to school. Everyone seems to be ignoring this, and also getting the same pupils back home.

  13. Error on page 16 of the Lakes Connection timetable, services for "Levens Hall and Gardens" The services noted are the X6 (?) and the 755. No mention of the 555!

  14. What times are the last bus from Morecambe to Carnforth

    1. All the timetables are on the website now and you can get to them via the link in the Service Changes box on the left-hand sidebar.