Cabinet to consider extending Park and Ride contract

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lancashire County Council's cabinet is to consider extending the contract for the Walton-Le-Dale Park and Ride bus service to allow more time to develop proposals to keep it running for the longer term.

The council agreed in July 2017 to provide a subsidised service for the site for six months after the operator, Rotala Preston Bus, advised that they could no longer run it on a commercial basis.

Since then officers have been working on solutions to keep the service running by encouraging more people to use it, and reducing the costs of maintaining the site.

If a proposal to be considered by the council's cabinet on Thursday 7 December is agreed, the current contract will be extended for two months until 29 March 2018 at an estimated net cost of £7,100.

County Councillor Keith Iddon, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The Park and Ride site behind the Capitol Centre at Walton-Le-Dale is close to the M6 and M65, giving people the opportunity to avoid the stress of parking in the city centre and complete their journey by bus.

"It offers a good quality service with buses running every 10 minutes during peak times, and every 15 minutes at other times.

"It's very well located for anyone travelling into the city centre from the south and makes an important contribution towards reducing congestion in the centre of Preston.

"As the report to cabinet sets out, the annual net cost of running the site and bus service is currently around £42,700, and officers have been working over recent months to reduce this by increasing income, and cutting the costs of managing the site.

"Some of these solutions have already been put in place, but we're proposing to allow more time to investigate further potential cost savings, and assess the impact of recent marketing activities, before making a decision about the operation of the service beyond the end of the current financial year."

Parking at the Walton-Le-Dale site is free, with an adult return fare costing just £1.50, and a child return fare 75p. Other ticketing options, including weekly passes, are available. The service will be operating extended hours in the run up to Christmas on certain nights in line with later opening hours for the city centre shops, when the last bus will run at 9pm. The service is also now extended on Sundays until Sunday 24 December, operating from 10.00am to 5.30pm. Find out more.

Tagged as: Roads, Parking and Travel

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