Overton to Carnforth bus services cuts threat

Morecambe's Bus Number 5 Route Overton to Carnforth evenings and Sunday service is under threat due to County Cuts. 23rd November 2015
Morecambe's Bus Number 5 Route Overton to Carnforth evenings and Sunday service is under threat due to County Cuts. 23rd November 2015

Sunday and evening bus services between Overton and Carnforth could be scrapped due to funding cuts.

The number 5 bus – which also passes through Heysham, Morecambe, Hest Bank and Bolton-le-Sands – may have its funding slashed by Lancashire County Council.

Danny Maddox, chairman of Overton Parish Council, said: “If it happens, anyone who doesn’t drive won’t be able to get out of Overton on Sundays and in the evenings.”

Meanwhile the chairman of Morecambe Town Council has called for local parish councils to work together to fund a community-run bus service if the cuts go ahead.

Coun Darren Clifford, who is also on Lancashire County Council, said at a meeting on Thursday: “The number 5, Overton to Carnforth is unlikely to be maintained in its present fashion.

“It’s not very well used. We would have to work with other parishes to put together a bid.

“The county council would buy a bus and expect an organisation to operate it for the public. We need to work together to provide a vital bus service that links us to the rest of our district.”

The proposed cuts are part of a plan to remove funding for all subsidised Lancashire bus services from April 2016 to save £7.5m a year.

Transport firm Stagecoach would continue to run regular buses in the district but some of its services, such as the number 5, are partly funded by the county council.

Michael Sanderson, commercial manager for Stagecoach, said: “We can’t really say any more until we’ve looked at the figures and it’s just a proposal at this stage.”

Lancashire County Council has committed £3m to a new Parish Bus Initiative and is asking communities to run their own services.

There are community-run bus services in other parts of the country, such as Fellrunner in Cumbria, a volunteer-run service available for group hire. Lancashire County Council cabinet is due to meet this Thursday to make decisions on the cuts, part of a £65m savings plan which could also hit museums and libraries countywide.