|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.