The Bus Users' Group has been told by two separate authoritative sources that Lancaster's long-awaited Park & Ride, from Junction 34 of M6 on Caton Road to the City Centre, will start on Friday, 9th December and a notice to that effect has now appeared on Lancashire's website.
It has to be said that there is very little evidence of this on the ground, but our eagle-eyed observer at the bus station unearthed a clue today, with the appearance of a new "service 1" on the electronic display board.
The hitherto-unknown "service 1" can be seen at the bottom of the left-hand bank of services, with a departure due at 1205.
This is also the first time that "Caton Road Business Park" has appeared as a "destination" on Lancaster's bus network. So much so, that the Bus Users' Group had to "Google" it to find out what - and where - it was! (Answer here!)
As there are no known plans to introduce any other new bus services in Lancaster at the moment the BUG is forced to the conclusion that "service 1" is in fact Lancaster's new "Park & Ride"that has appeared a little prematurely on the destination board! The feeling that the board is premature was backed up by the lack of any paper timetable information on stand 15 as well as the non-arrival of the supposed 12.05 bus.
It then occurred to us that as the destination display gets its information from the same data source as Traveline and other on-line journey planners that if the Park & Ride is on the bus station display it might be in the Traveline system as well.
So, as the County Council has so far seen fit not to tell anyone about it, the Bus Users Group is pleased to announce that the Park and Ride will operate every 30 minutes from Caton Road, stopping at North Road (Waring & Gillow); George Street, China Street (the stop near Atkinson's that isn't used by any other buses), Lancaster Bus Station and Parliament Street. First bus from Caton Road is at 06.50 (07.50 on Saturdays) and the last from George Street is at 19.30 (18.30 Saturdays) There is no Sunday service and the full timetable is here:
For a clearer version of the timetable you can go to Traveline.info and enter "1" in the service number box and "Lancaster" as the locality. (Apologies, but unlike other Traveline regions it doesn't appear possible to link directly to a timetable on Traveline North West).
And having read the timetable, if you do spot a Park & Ride bus, let us know!