Fury at plans to slash rural bus services in Ribble Valley

Ribble Valley Borough Councillor for Bowland, Newton and Slaidburn Coun. Rosemary Elms.
Ribble Valley Borough Councillor for Bowland, Newton and Slaidburn Coun. Rosemary Elms.

Plans are afoot to drastically reduce a regular rural bus service serving the Hodder Valley to the anger of local residents.

Lancashire County Council is proposing to just run a bus service three times a day on Tuesdays and Saturdays as opposed to the usual seven day a week service local residents have become accoustomed to.

The medical team at Slaidburn Health Centre fight to save the surgery. Pictured from the left are Linda Blakeman, Kath Webster, Kaye Howard, Dr. Karen Massey.

The medical team at Slaidburn Health Centre fight to save the surgery. Pictured from the left are Linda Blakeman, Kath Webster, Kaye Howard, Dr. Karen Massey.

Ribble Valley Borough Councillor for Bowland, Newton and Slaidburn, Coun. Rosemary Elms said: “They have already taken our police house away, we are fighting to keep our health centre and now they are going to cut the bus service down to Tuesday and Saturday.

“Does no one care about the Hodder Valley anymore? It’s like they are saying lets just get rid of the Hodder Valley.

“There are cut backs in rural areas all the time. Lancashire Council Council says it cares for people, but its not doing much caring at the moment. We all understand that it’s trying to save money, but at what price?”

Local residents have got until Thursday August 29th to respond to the proposals with a decision being made by county council chiefs by October 3rd. Details of theh proposals are available in Slaidburn’s village store and on the village notice board.

Anyone who would like to comment on the proposals should write to Miranda Carlos, bus and transport manager, Room D3, PO Box 100, County Hall, Preston, PR1 OLD, by Thursday, August 29th.

We contacted Lancashire County Council for a response to this story but unfortunately we had not received one by the time of going to press.

l Below is a letter sent into The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times from Mr Reuben Parsons who has RJ Parsons Dry Stone Walling & Masonry:

Slaidburn is a beautiful village, seen at its best at this time of year with its hanging baskets and cobbled streets.

Unseen, perhaps by many, are the people who make the village work as a community; families running rural businesses, young people working away, visitors bringing their tourist trade in, also children and grandparents bringing life and wisdom to make a place worth living in beyond its simple net value. All of these people, at one time or another, have relied on the local bus service – many still do.

Slaidburn and surrounding villages have enjoyed a regular bus service for decades – something we all realise has

been subsidised with our Council Tax, for which we have been grateful. Lancashire County Council, in its wisdom,

has decided to cut this service. Although this is not a surprise, we did expect a reduced service or re-routing to

maximise numbers, however, they have decided that the bus should only run on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Fine, if you

only work or study on Tuesdays or Saturdays, only book appointments at the doctors or dentists on Tuesdays or Saturdays, or only live your life two days a week.

However beautiful and prosperous the Hodder Valley may look on the surface, behind the scenes are hundreds of

ordinary people paddling furiously to pay their way. A two day bus service is just another blow for the most

vulnerable and isolated. Pick away at the edges and the whole community could soon become a commuter

dormitory – still beautiful, but soulless and vacant.

Please help myself and others fight this ill thought and damaging cut, to keep the villages thriving, working and

together for the future.

Reuben Parsons,

Hammerton Hall Farm,

Catlow Road,

Slaidburn