Wednesday, 26 July 2017

County Council to Increase Spending on Buses

Service 81 was one of the services affected by the April 2016 cutbacks.
Lancashire County Council's Lead Member for Buses, Andrew Snowdon has begun a "cross-party consultation" within the council on the prospect of increasing the council's spend on bus service contracts by £1M per annum - a 50% rise in the existing budget. The move follows a change of control in the running of the council, from Labour to Conservative, in May.

County Councillors are being consulted on three "key priorities" for improving services and are being asked to put forward their own ideas.

Cllr Snowden said: “I’m keen to ensure passengers benefit from the improvements to bus services we promised as soon as possible, I have already been working with officers on some draft proposals for how we could best meet the needs of communities with the new funding. “However, I also want to ensure that county councillors have the opportunity to input into work on behalf of the communities they represent and raise any issues they are aware of which will help to make sure the proposals we eventually bring forward have a real impact and provide the best possible value for money. A good public transport network is vital to support our economy, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access work and education.

The key priorities are:

To restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas where people who don’t drive or own a car rely most on public transport.

To increase the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand

And to stabilise the network to support routes which might otherwise disappear. 

The council’s new administration has committed to make an extra £1m available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m. Final proposals will be put before the council's cabinet on 14th September

It appears that at this stage consultation is restricted to elected councillors, so the Bus Users' Group will be putting our ideas to  local councillors so as to ensure that the Lancaster District gets its fair share of the pot.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Bus Station to get £150k Makeover

UPDATE:  For temporary departure stand arrangements during the work click here.

Opened in 2001, Lancaster's bus station is now set for a much-needed refurbishment.with the City Council investing £147,000 to bring the facility up to the standard local bus passengers deserve.

The work consists of cleaning all the external metalwork such as the entrance columns and the removal of any corrosion. These areas will then be redecorated.

The roof will also be treated - both internally and externally to include the removal of the vegetation!

The matting at the entrance will be replaced and extended to reduce the amount of moisture brought into the building on people's feet, hopefully reducing cleaning costs.

Lastly, the external balustrade and railings will be given a new coat of paint.

Works will start on 24 July and continue for six weeks, being timed to co-incide with school and University holidays. During the work each side of the bus station will close in turn for a three-week period, with bus departures being relocated. It is hoped to accommodate all services within the bus station but some use may have to be made of Dalton Square.  The internal work - such as the matting and work on the internal roof - will be done at night to minimise disruption. Whilst not part of the refurbishment project, it is hoped that work can also be done to improve access for disabled passengers to the smaller  buses used on some city services.

Lancaster is fortunate to have a modern, undercover bus station, complete with toilets, refreshments and an enquiry office - something not enjoyed by towns such as Kendal, Barrow or Blackpool - and the Bus Users' Group is pleased to see that the City Council is prepared to invest in this asset.