Bus service cuts loom again with new scoring system

Lancaster Bus Station .
Lancaster Bus Station .

Bus service cuts in the Lancaster district are back on the agenda.

A consultation has been launched into which bus services matter most to people, and this will shape future decisions on which services should be cut.

A blanket proposal to cut funding for all evening and Sunday bus services across the district, which are mostly run by Stagecoach, was dropped last year after a huge public backlash.

But Lancashire County Council is now proposing a new way to value buses.

This includes using a scoring system based on factors including their contribution towards the economy, helping people get to work, education, medical appointments, shops and leisure facilities.

The system also takes into account whether alternative public transport is available and its impact on older and disabled people, and on the environment.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “The changes we are proposing aim to ensure that future decisions about which bus services we support with the limited funding we have available are made in a fairer way which takes full account of their value to the community they serve.

“We think our new criteria will result in better decisions being made in future, and we’re grateful to receive feedback from people who would like to give us their views.”

A consultation with district and parish councils, passenger groups, bus operators, and community and voluntary transport groups, and members of the public runs until July 31.

The county council will take account of responses received during the consultation.

It is proposing to agree and publish a new bus service assessment criteria by September.

To view the criteria and complete an online questionnaire please go to www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay.