Campaign to bring buses back to Lune valley

Duncan Foster in Whittington
Duncan Foster in Whittington

A new campaign group has been set up to try and improve services for bus users in the Lune Valley.

The Lune Bus Action Group has been created to look at how to reinstate evening bus services to villages such as Whittington, Wray and Arkholme.

The group, set up by Duncan Foster and John Keegan - is hoping to provide evidence that residents and businesses in the Lune Valley between Lancaster and Kirkby Lonsdale can sustain a more regular bus service.

Last month, Lancashire County Council agreed to inject an extra £1m into bus services, taking the total county budget to £3m.

But members of the Lancaster District Bus Users Group expressed their disappointment that so little had been allocated to the Lancaster area.

The county council said it would work with bus operators to use the funding available to try to develop a sustainable option to restore a daytime service link for Gressingham, Arkholme and Whittington and the Lune Valley as a whole using the Service 81.

The council said it would continue to consider evening and Sunday services, perhaps in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders.

Mr Keegan, from the Lune Valley Bus Action Group said: “Duncan Foster and I have been campaigning for a bus service down the North bank of the River Lune since all services were cancelled in April 2016.

“We have to accept that Lancashire are not going to consider evening and Sunday provision as they have said ‘With the level of budget available it is proposed to retain a focus on Monday to Saturday daytime service provision and develop proposals to provide sustainable services that also prioritise employment, education and social needs’.

“At this time it is not clear what County will have in mind (for weekend and evening services), but if we are to ever re-introduce, say the Friday and Saturday evening services, which were so well supported by passengers visiting Kirkby and/or Lancaster, then clearly we will need to provide some evidence that the need is recognised by publicans, restaurateurs and businesses in and around Kirkby.”

For more information and to get involved, email lunebusactiongroup@btinternet.com.