Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Lancashire County Council, supported by Chorley Council, have stepped in to make sure people in part of Chorley will still have access to public transport after their current bus service is withdrawn.
The 109A service has been under threat since the current operator Stagecoach advised it could no longer provide it on a commercial basis after Sunday 21 July 2019. Alternative buses are available for people along some parts of the route, but people in Astley Village in particular would no longer have access to any service.
However Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council, which fund other buses in the area, have been working together to maintain a link to the village by making changes to their services.
Revisions will be made to a number of routes from Monday 22 July, with the main one affected being the current Service 357 which serves Chorley and Lower Burgh, and links to the local Tesco supermarket.
This will be withdrawn and reconfigured to provide two new services, the 118 and 119 which each partially replace Service 357, with the 119 including a link to Astley Village. These new services will be funded 75% by Lancashire County Council and 25% from Chorley Borough Council.
It will mean that some areas, mainly Lower Burgh and Gillibrands Park, will now receive a bus service every 2 hours rather than every hour, however this compromise is considered necessary to ensure the continuation of a service to the larger population of Astley Village.
There will also be minor changes to Service 337 from Chorley to Ormskirk, and Service 347 from Chorley to Southport, to ensure these routes link in well with the other services.
Service 109B which is funded jointly by Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council to operate on Sundays and Monday to Saturday evenings, will also be revised to operate the same route as the new service 119.
County Councillor Andrew Snowden, Lead Member for Highways and Transport, said “Working to save services when commercial operators pull out is always hard but it’s worth the effort, as many of the routes are a lifeline to people.
“I am delighted that we have been able to agree this new route, which will be in conjunction with Chorley Council and I’d like to thank the local County Councillor, Aidy Riggott, who has passionately put forward the case for saving as much of the route as possible and has worked closely with me on it”.
“This is only possible because of the large increases the County Council has made in public transport budgets since 2017; decision that continues to pay dividends for bus users up and down Lancashire. Something of which I am incredibly proud of”.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We were really disappointed to see the existing bus service was being cut by Stagecoach. Like we have in other parts of the borough we’ve stepped in, alongside the county council, to make sure the residents in Astley Village can still access Chorley and other parts of the borough by bus.
“Not everyone has access to a car so it’s really important we do all we can to keep all our villages linked by public transport so people can get to work, get to school and attend appointments.”
New timetable leaflets will be available in the coming days, but for more information about the route, including the revised timetable for the service, please visit http://www.lancashire.gov.uk and search for bus services.
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