A nurse has been left heartbroken after being forced to put her beloved home in Sabden up for sale because the village’s only bus service is being axed.
Fifty-four-year-old Deborah Catania, who works on the stroke rehabilitation unit at Pendle Community Hospital, Nelson, is selling her home in Whalley Road as she will now struggle to get back from work.
“I came over to England 19 years ago and have lived in Sabden for 18 years,” said Deborah, who is originally from Malta. “I love this village, but it’s now going to be so difficult to get into and out of the village that I’ve just no choice but to move.”
Deborah, who has some of her closest relatives living in Sabden, catches a bus back to the village after work and also uses the bus when she needs to get her shopping.
“I’ve spoken to the bus company and they say they cannot carry on running the service as not enough people use it.”
Deborah went on to explain that the absence of public transport will increase rural isolation which villagers in Sabden already feel.
I love this village, but it’s now going to be so difficult to get into and out of the village that I’ve just no choice but to moveDeborah
Deborah is not the only resident left feeling utter dismay by the news the village’s bus service.
Tracey Howard said: “It’s going to cost me a small fortune to get to work in Clitheroe and my son to college in Burnley.”
Bill Cavanagh added: “Withdrawal of this service is immoral like many other instances in the county.”
County councillors are due to meet to consider the implications of bus operator Transdev scrapping Sabden’s one and only bus service.
Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Working Group on Bus Services, made up of a number of county councillors from across the county, will now consider the implications of this withdrawal and assess the requirement of a replacement transport provision in Sabden.
The withdrawal of the Mainline bus service will remove all regular public transport links through Sabden, and to a lesser extent northern areas of Read along Whins Lane.
Apart from the school buses transporting students to Billington and Clitheroe schools, there will be no transport links for residents to access employment, education or medical and welfare services, especially to Burnley.
County Coun. Alan Schofield said: “Sabden is seriously threatened with removal of service 27 on May 1st, by a shocking negative u-turn in mid-March by Transdev/Burnley and Pendle’s Mainline bus services.
“As the next meeting of the Lancashire County Council working group isn’t until June 24th, a potential subsidy or contingency or whatever solution needs satisfactorily to happen before April 30th.”
Coun. Schofield added that he is in direct contact with Coun. Hayhurst and Coun. Fillis and hoped to hear an update soon.
Sabden Parish Councillor John Shorter is asking people to write to the county council as soon as possible with their individual stories and reasons to keep the service.
The email addresses are: busservices@lancashire. gov.uk and lcc.gov.services@lancashire/gov.uk.