When in April 2016 Lancashire County Council reduced its financial support for buses by 70% the county, including the Lancaster District, was hit by a wave of cuts to services both in urban and rural areas. One of the worst affected parts of the county was the Lune Valley. Some villages lost all their buses, whilst others suffered a drastically reduced service. Campaigning by the Bus Users' Group and local people eventually saw a service restored to the west side of the valley, whilst Stagecoach continued to provide a reduced service on the eastern side.
But he villages of Wennington and Wray were particularly badly hit; their overall service was cut in half and the link to Kirkby Lonsdale was lost completely when Stagecoach diverted all the remaining service 81 buses to run direct between Hornby and Melling, saving just 3.5 miles on a 20 mile journey and serving no additional communities on the new route.
Whilst the BUG has admittedly rather come to accept the situation, other people haven't. Local campaigner Richard Scott from Wray has been particularly vociferous in the fight to restore services, especially the link to Kirkby Lonsdale - the loss of which has affected him badly. The latest episode in his campaign has been to achieve coverage of the issue in a national newspaper, the Daily Express, which featured Richard and his guide dog in a recent article on bus service cuts.(see above)
The Bus Users' Group congratulates Richard on his campaigning skills and on his perseverance in trying to restore an important link in the bus network. We fully support his work and call on Stagecoach to take another look at their service in the Lune Valley to see whether the small amount of mileage saved is really worth the loss of the revenue they would get if people from Wray could travel more often to Lancaster and at all to Kirkby Lonsdale.