Bus group ‘fed up’ with council delays

Lancaster bus station
Lancaster bus station

Campaigners fighting to improve a Lancaster bus service say they have grown so fed up with delays they have come up with a new timetable themselves.

Lancaster District Bus Users Group are now asking the city and county councils to introduce the timetable which connects the city centre with Williamson Park, Lancaster Farms prison and the former Moor Hospital site.

Earlier this year the group uncovered a pot of £500,000 made available in 2012 by developers of the Moor Hospital site and intended to pay for transport improvements, including an enhanced bus service to the area.

Frustrated by the lack of action by the two councils in spending the money, the group says it has taken the initiative and designed its own route and timetable to show the local authorities what could be done.

Jim Davies, chairman of the group, said: “Now that we have done the hard work for them, we hope that the city and county can get their heads together and bring about this much needed service improvement. Following discussions with local bus companies we are confident that our scheme can be introduced within the budget available and still leave enough money in the pot for the highway improvement works that are part of the project.”

The group’s timetable would provide buses every half-hour on service 18, with buses running into the late evening as well as on Sundays.

Daniel Herbert, network manager for Lancashire County Council, said: “The agreement made between the city council and the developer is to spend some of this funding to improve bus services, and some to improve public transport and road safety infrastructure.

“We’re currently in discussion with the city council to agree the local priorities for transport which could be met with this funding and how it will be allocated accordingly.

“One of the options being considered is to use some of the funding to provide more journeys on the number 18 bus service, however our priority must be to ensure that any improvements provide good value for money and are sustainable in the long-term.”

A spokesman for the city council said an update was expected soon.