The fight goes on, say bus protestors

Protestors angry at the loss of their bus service in Sabden protest outside Lancashire County Council.
Protestors angry at the loss of their bus service in Sabden protest outside Lancashire County Council.

Battling residents, who launched a major protest campaign when their village was left without a bus service, have vowed to fight on.

There was anger in Sabden last week when Lancashire County Council failed to come up with a solution to what the community sees as a major crisis.

And campaigners have accused the county council of “washing its hands” of the people of Sabden.

Paul McKenna, a spokesman for Save Sabden Bus action group said: “To leave an entire community of 2,000 people without any form of public transport is totally irresponsible.

“We are not going away. The local GP has been in touch as there has been an increase in people being prescribed tablets for depression because of this situation.”

Transdev cut Sabden from its bus route in April after the county council refused to pay a subsidy. Protestors in Sabden are calling for their service to be reinstated after the bus was reinstated in the Gawthorpe ward of Padiham after it was axed. But a spokesman for the county council said it was nothing to do with the authority and was just a commercial company responding to the market.

County Coun.John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Our difficult financial position means the county council is not in a position to fund a replacement for what was a commercial bus service with one entirely supported by the county council.

“I have offered to make some money available to part-fund a bus service for Sabden on a temporary basis. Our officers have sought further contributions from the other councils representing Sabden and explored a number of options with local transport companies but these have proved unsuccessful.

“We have offered to work with the village to look at establishing a community-led service which may provide a sustainable, long-term, solution.”