New £3m. contract is just the ticket for bus services in the Ribble Valley
A new contract, worth in the region of £3m., has been signed by a bus operator for four new services to be set up - creating jobs for bus drivers.
Accrington's Pilkington Bus company has announced it will be investing £500,000 in new buses and personnel to fulfil a contract recently awarded by Lancashire County Council.
The new routes, that began operating in July, will greatly improve transport links for people particularly in and around the Ribble Valley, Blackburn and East Lancashire.
The new services will be:
· Clitheroe to Chipping (The existing two-hour service will increase in frequency to every hour, seven days a week including all day on Sunday)
· Blackburn, Mellor
· Blackburn, Mellor, Brockhall
· Blackburn, Mellor, Brockhall, Clitheroe
The move comes at a very good time for Pilkington Buses. The current health crisis has caused challenges for the company in terms of social distancing and the temporary suspension of school run services.
The company has been operating buses in the area for 50 years and in that time they've built a reputation for safety, reliability, and cleanliness. Recently, confidence in public transport has taken a hit because of the coronavirus pandemic, but members of the public can be assured that Pilkington Bus is taking the threat of COVID-19 seriously.
Mr Pilkington explained: "We are doing everything we can to keep the public safe. That's why we've been taking extra measures to ensure the cleanliness of our vehicles and we're making sure the public comply with the government's obligatory face masks on public transport."
Lancashire County Coun. Alan Schofield, who represents Ribble Valley South West, is delighted that the contract means a boost to bus services in the Ribble Valley and people being able to travel easily from Clitheroe to outlying villages.
He commented: "We want to celebrate this investment of nearly £3 million. It's great news for everyone involved. It means better connectivity and an improved service for the whole community and farther afield."
Meanwhile, Rochdale-based bus manufacturer, Mellor, supplied two of its popular low-floor Strata buses as part of the the vehicle deliveries.
Area sales manager, Jane Dransfield, said: "We're delighted to be supporting Pilkington Bus and other local bus operators as they recover from extremely challenging circumstances.
"Our size appropriate bus range provides the ideal solution for local bus operators, especially on rural routes, where smaller capacity vehicles provide the flexibility and cost-effectiveness to ensure routes remain viable and frequencies are maintained."
"It's a win-win solution for bus operators and their passengers."