The April 2016 revisions to services operated under contract to Lancashire Council Council combined Stagecoach service 51 (Lancaster - Carnforth - Silverdale) with Travellers Choice service 1 - the dedicated shuttle service linking Silverdale village to Silverdale Railway Station, which lies some distance from the village centre.
The shuttle service was expressly designed to connect with trains to Lancaster and Barrow at Silverdale station, whilst service 51, although catering mainly for local traffic, did offer connections with trains - and other buses - at Carnforth station. Both services were therefore subject to alteration when train times changed, although as a "dedicated" service, service 1 was more often affected.
From 11 July 2016 Northern Rail, which now runs all the trains on the Barrow to Lancaster line is introducing a number of changes to daytime trains which necessitate changes to connecting buses. Now that the services are combined any alterations affect the whole route.
The Bus Users' Group, responding to local residents' concerns, had asked the county council to consider retiming the 0939 bus from Silverdale to Carnforth so as to offer a connection into service 755 to Bowness and we are pleased to learn that it has proved possible to incorporate this change. The bus will now run seven minutes earlier and arrive in Carnforth 8 minutes before the 755 departure. The Group has also asked for an early evening bus from Carnforth back towards Silverdale to offer a connection in the return direction and also to allow passengers to leave Lancaster an hour later than the present last bus at 1730. The Council has agreed to consider this whilst pointing out that as a journey aimed primarily for "leisure" journeys it does not meet their criteria for support. This being despite the fact that it would bring villages on the 51 route into line with similar communities south and east of Lancaster in having later journeys aimed at workers. We have also identified a number of ways in which such a journey could be provided at minimal cost and await the county's decision with interest.
A copy of the new timetable can be seen here.