Monday, 27 June 2022

Buses Return to Higher Heysham - Exclusive!


Peel Avenue: One of the stops to regain its bus service.

You won't see anything on either Stagecoach's or the County Council's  websites about it, nor on Traveline or Google Transit, but buses will return to parts of Higher Heysham after a gap of over twelve months from next Sunday, 3rd July.

In February 2021, Stagecoach withdrew services 2X (Lancaster - Morecambe Fast) and 5 (Overton-Carnforth) from Heathfoot Avenue and Middleton Road in Heysham because the road surface had deteriorated to the point where it was damaging the buses. Here's what the company said at the time:

The Bus Users' Group also raised the matter with the Highways Department and with the County Councillor for the area, but although we were assured the work was included in the programme of works for 2021/2 (ending in March 2022) the road remained unrepaired.

Not All The Council's Fault?

We are not sure when the work was eventually completed, but a visit to the area sometime in late April/ early May showed that the road had been resurfaced and even the bus stop clearway markings freshly re-painted.

Given the level of disruption caused to passengers and the large area of Heysham left unserved, we were surprised that buses didn't return immediately. It was even more surprising that the change was not co-ordinated with the removal of service 1/1A buses from another part of Heysham in late May because the road surface there was causing similar problems!
Buses were withdrawn from Mossgate Park in May because of road conditions there.

Meanwhile, Stagecoach reprinted (and we do mean reprinted!) it's service 5 timetable (as part of the Carnforth area Guide) "effective May 2022" to show the service running via the normal route with the timing point at Peel Avenue reinstated. The timetable for the 2X however was last printed in December 2021 and has not yet been re-issued to show the return to the old route.

It's not clear why it has taken Stagecoach so long to put these services back to their proper routes. Nor is it clear why neither they nor Lancashire County Council are publicising the move in the "Service Changes" pages of their websites. The news hasn't filtered through to the likes of Traveline or Google Transit yet either. So, once again, the Bus Users' Group is proud to be first with the news!