£1m. bus boost is just the ticket for Sabden folk

Dozens of Sabden residents demonstrate outside County Hall, Preston, in May 2016 after their one and only bus service was axed.
Dozens of Sabden residents demonstrate outside County Hall, Preston, in May 2016 after their one and only bus service was axed.

A £1m. cash boost to the bus network has been welcomed by Sabden villagers who were left without regular public transport.

Lancashire County Council’s new administration has committed to make an extra £1m. available to support bus services, increasing the budget from £2m to £3m to restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas, increase the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand and stabilise the network to support routes which might otherwise disappear.

Villagers in Sabden lost regular transport links in May 2016 when Transdev withdrew a commercial bus serving the village. Six months later, funding was found to restore the village’s only bus service.

The extra £1m. funding news has been welcomed by Coun. Richard Newmark, who represents Sabden on Ribble Valley Borough Council. He said: “I hope some of this money can be spent to look at the bus routes from Sabden. We currently have a reduced bus schedule and a reduced route and would appreciate if they can be extended. We hope to get more people back on the bus.”

County Coun. Andrew Snowden, lead member for highways and transport, has started a cross-party consultation for councillors to consider draft proposals for improving services and put forward their ideas.

He said: “I’m keen to ensure passengers benefit from the improvements to bus services we promised as soon as possible, I have already been working with officers on some draft proposals.”

Following consultation with councillors, which begins with drop-in sessions being held this week, proposals will be presented to the county council’s cabinet on Thursday, September 14th.