People power has saved a vital rural bus service, albeit on a reduced basis.
Plans had been afoot to reduce the Bowland Transit bus service that runs between Clitheroe, Slaidburn and Settle so it would only operate journeys on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
However, following a well-attended public meeting earlier this year and a period of consultation, Lancashire County Council transport chiefs agreed to subsidise a revised timetable that will now run on a Monday to Friday basis between Clitheroe and Slaidburn only. This will do approximately five runs a day.
The new timetable starts on January 6th and, although journeys will no longer extend beyond Slaidburn to Settle and Horton, the revision allows for a daily service which was highlighted by the majority of respondents as being essential in such a rural area.
North Yorkshire County Council has advised that they intend to operate Service 11 between Horton, Settle and Tosside.
John Bennett, chairman of the joint Hodder Valley Parish Councils for Newton, Slaidburn, Dunsop Bridge and Whitewell, said that although local residents are pleased with the compromises made, a service will still not be run at the weekend.
“This will not only have an impact on those living in the Valley, but is likely to have an impact on people wishing to visit the Valley, for walking, visiting local cafés, pubs etc,” explained Mr Bennett.
The new Bowland Transit timetable (Service 10) will be operated by Transdev Burnley and Pendle on behalf of Lancashire County Council, while Service 11 will be operated by North Yorkshire County Council’s in-house provider.