|Matt Sutton from KLCH and Andrew Snowden from LCC launch the new service.|
The Bus Users' Group has refrained from publishing what it knew about the new Lune Valley bus service to be introduced on 5th March following a request from Lancashire County Council to wait until all the details had been finalised.
There may be more news to come, but a timetable for "Service 582 Lancaster to Kirkby Lonsdale" has now appeared on Cumbria County Council's website (Kirkby Lonsdale is within that Council's jurisdiction). As expected, the timetable shows buses operating every two hours between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale via Hornby, Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington and includes the limited peak hour services currently operated by Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire. There is also a new, later, evening journey from Kirkby to Lancaster. First bus of the day from Kirkby Lonsdale is at 0730 (except Saturdays) with following journeys at 1015, 1215, 1415, 1615, 1815 and 2015 six days a week. There is also a journey on service 81 (via Melling and Tunstall) from Kirkby at 1915.
In the other direction, buses leave Lancaster at 0645, 0745, 0945, 1145, 1345 and 1545 all running Mondays to Saturdays. Stagecoach buses on service 81 via Melling and Tunstall continue as now.
The Cumbria County Council timetable can be seen via this link.
What the Cumbria website doesn't tell you is that most buses on service 582 continue from Kirkby Lonsdale through to Settle as service 581 and then on to Skipton as 580. For example, passengers will be able to leave Lancaster at 0945 and without changing buses reach Settle for 1125 and Skipton at 1210. And, for example, passengers can leave Skipton at 1445 or Settle at 1530 and arrive home in Lancaster at 1705. Later journeys in both directions are available.
When the Bus Users' Group was campaigning for this new service we asked the County Council for two extra benefits:
- For inter-available tickets to be made available between Kirkby Lonsdale and Stagecoach buses so that passengers could make best use of the available service and -
- For someone - either the operators or the council - to produce a joint timetable showing ALL buses between Lancaster and Kirkby in one document. We are still awaiting news on both these items although there is plenty of time yet before the service starts.