Stagecoach steps in to help after Lancaster school bus service is axed

Schoolchildren have been saved a long walk after Stagecoach stepped in to help after their school bus service was cancelled

By Gayle Rouncivell
Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:39 am
Updated Friday, 23rd July 2021, 10:40 am
Concerned parents, pupils and councillors gather to protest againt the bus service cut.
Concerned parents, pupils and councillors gather to protest againt the bus service cut.

As we reported recently, parents were told in a letter from Central Lancaster High School that the S24 service from the Marsh Estate to the school in Crag Road will not resume when the new term begins in September.

Concerned mums and dads said it would be unsafe for children to walk to and from school, especially during the dark winter evenings.

Lancashire County Council bosses said the service was making a loss and it should be have been scrapped in 2019, but officials decided to keep it running for an extra two years.

Local councillors and MP Cat Smith got involved in a bid to help the youngsters.

And Ms Smith has now reported that Stagecoach have offered to make changes to their bus timetables to help the children get to and from school.

She said: "I contacted Stagecoach who provide the following public bus services: 2 11 Lancaster Bus Station – Marsh – Lancaster Bus Station 10 Lancaster Bus Station – Ridge – Lancaster Bus Station.

"In an afternoon the 10 service leaves Keswick Road at 1510 and at the bus station it changes to the 11 and continues to Marsh.

"Students would not need to change buses. The 11 arrives at the Marsh at 1538.

"From September 2021 Stagecoach will change their services so that the 10 will leave the Marsh at 0739 and continue as service 11 from the bus station and arrive at the Ridge at around 0810, so that students will not need to change buses.

"Stagecoach have confirmed that this change could be put in place in time for the start of the new academic year in September."

Stagecoach offer a child weekly ticket at £14.50 and a 28-day ticket at £53. By comparison the cost of a daily return fare from September of county council school bus services for the lower mileage journeys is £3.10.

Both Stagecoach tickets are available online and Stagecoach have also offered, if appropriate, to sell these tickets directly to school.