Wednesday, 29 July 2020

New stops make it easier to visit the Crook o' Lune

The Inspirational Lune Valley - Visit Lancashire
Crook o' Lune (c) Visit Lancashire
The Crook o' Lune is a much-loved beauty spot near Lancaster situated between the villages of Halton and Caton, where a large loop in the eponymous river is crossed by both the existing road and two former railway bridges.  There is a picnic site with extensive views up the Lune Valley and over to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, where you can eat your own refreshments or buy some from the famous Woody's snack bar.  

The two former railway bridges that cross the arms of the river loop now carry the Millennium Way, which provides an off-road route for cyclists and walkers all the way from Lancaster city centre (but please note that the section from the Holiday Inn near Jc 34 to Salt Ayre is currently closed and an alternative route along the side of Caton Road must be used). The site also lies on the route of the Lune Valley Ramble, which provides a riverside footpath all the way to Kirkby Lonsdale and other paths  provide local walking opportunities. The site is therefore ideal as the start or end point of a walk, which can easily be combined with one of the bus routes that run up either side of the valley to enjoy a walk without having to retrace your steps.

Despite its obvious attractions the site has until recently not been easy to reach by bus. The nearest stops were on the A683 almost in Caton Village and required an 800m walk along narrow roads. But in June Stagecoach diverted its 80 (Ingleton) and 81 (Kirkby Lonsdale) buses to run via Halton between Lancaster and Caton taking them right past the Crook. From 19th July Kirkby Lonsdale Coach Hire's new Sunday services 81A and 81B between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale also ran this way.

Now, following a request by the Bus Users' Group, the county council has agreed to place two bus stops, one in each direction, to enable passengers to visit the site without braving the 800 metre walk along Low Road.  The stops will be placed on Low Road immediately east of the bridge over the river, where the footpath up to the Millennium Way crosses the road as shown on the following map.
New bus stops will be placed at X
Until the stops can be erected the county council is asking the bus companies to observe the stop on a request basis.

This is the latest in a line of new bus stops successfully asked for by the Bus Users' Group. Others have included Westbourne Road, Willow Lane, and Quernmore Road in Lancaster and Bare Lane in Torrisholme.  We have found the County Council is always ready to listen to our suggestions and to provide stops where this can be done safely, so if you are aware of any location where a formal bus stop would be beneficial please let us know and we will see what we can do,