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01 Mar 2016
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire has announced a number of updates to its services covering Preston and the wider area following the funding cuts to subsidised bus routes.
Stagecoach has committed to independently operate all journeys on the service 2A between Preston and Ormskirk from April 3. These services were formerly subsidised by Lancashire County Council.
Service 2 Preston to Southport will also continue to run.
The news follows Stagecoach’s earlier announcements that the company is saving the Monday to Saturday evening journeys on both the 68 service from Preston to Blackpool, and the 109A bus that runs fromPreston to Chorley. These services were due to be axed due to funding cuts but will now be operated independently by Stagecoach.
The current 4,4A and 4C routes will be replaced with a new 4C service, covering Preston to Longridge, maintaining vital transport links to Preston's College and Royal Preston Hospital. The company will also divert the 113 Preston to Wigan service between Leyland and Eccleston to improve access for bus users.
Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said: “Local communities are starting to feel the impact of the squeeze on public sector services, and subsidised bus services in Lancashire have really been in the firing line, with significant cuts to funding. This has unfortunately meant that a number of routes across Lancashire will be altered or will no longer be operational.
“We have listened to comments from our customers who travel on the 1, 1A, 2, 59, 111 and X2 bus routes and have implemented new timetables designed to improve punctuality. We hope these changes will have a positive impact on our passengers’ journeys.
“We have tried to minimise the effect of funding cuts on our passengers and local community as much as possible but the lack of funding means that unfortunately some previously funded services will no longer operate. As a result, we have needed to make some changes to ensure we can continue to provide our passengers with a comprehensive and reliable bus network.”
Services which Stagecoach previously covered that the company will no longer be operating due to the Lancashire County Council funding cuts include Preston's 5A, 7B, 14 and 113 Monday to Saturday evening journeys. The 12A between Preston and Ormskirk, 114 (evening service) and 115 service to Chorley. Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday services on routes 150/151 and Thursday to Saturday evening services on route 4C will also be cut.
All changes will come into effect from April 3 with customers advised to check how their journey may be effected before they travel. For more information on the updated routes and timetables Stagecoach will be operating, customers can visit the timetables webpage or Preston bus station.