MP calls Sabden bus situation '˜ridiculous'

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has asked the Government to step in and end what he describes as a 'ridiculous' situation regarding the withdrawal of bus services in Sabden.

Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 12:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th June 2016, 1:13 pm
Nigel Evans

Mr Evans addressed the House of Commons earlier this week on the cancellation of bus services to Sabden.

In the Commons Mr Evans said to the Communities Secretary Greg Clark: “Sabden, one of my beautiful villages, has a population of about 1,500.

“It has just had its bus service withdrawn by the operator. That service was part-subsidised by Lancashire County Council, but the council now refuses to subsidise even a skeleton service, which means that the elderly and the young have been set adrift; they cannot get into work or go to the doctor.

“Will the Secretary of State consider top-slicing the necessary money from the county council and giving it to the districts so that local people can get the service they deserve?”

Speaking after the debate Mr Evans said: “The people of Sabden have been failed by Lancashire County Council, and it is now time for the Government to step in and end this ridiculous situation.

“I have already written to Greg Clark to ask that his department investigate the repeated failures of Lancashire County Council.

“The local reaction to the cancelling of these services demonstrates their importance to Sabden, and it is vital that the service is restored.

“I will continue to lobby the Government to act and help the residents of Sabden.”

A couple of weeks ago protesting residents were left furious when county councillors failed to make a decision over the Sabden bus service.

Dozens gathered outside county hall armed with banners and flags before a meeting of the full Lancashire County Council. But it seemed their protests fell on deaf ears after the issue was put on hold for at least six months.

The panel, which was forced to return to the issue after the Conservatives tabled a motion to have the Sabden service brought back, resolved to ask officers to negotiate with various bus companies to see if any would be prepared to run services to the village. The county council will then reconsider the issue of putting on a subsidised bus service.