Council leader calls for change after Stagecoach cut 113 bus service from Wigan to Preston through Chorley, Leyland, and Bamber Bridge

Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council
Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council

The Leader of Chorley Council is calling for better coordination of public transport across the county just days after another bus service in the borough was axed.

The plea comes as Stagecoach announced its 113 service from Wigan to Preston through Croston, Eccleston, Ulnes Walton, Leyland, Farington, Lostock Hall, Bamber Bridge and Walton-le-Dale, is being scrapped in January 2019.

A Stagecoach bus

A Stagecoach bus

Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, is now calling on organisations to work better together to come up with ways to make public transport work better.

READ MORE: 'Severe blow' after 113 Stagecoach bus service from Wigan to Preston through Chorley, Leyland, and Bamber Bridge is axed
Coun Bradley said: “If we don’t get a grip of the public transport system in Lancashire sooner rather than later it won’t be long before buses become a thing of the past.

“Rather than cutting back on services the operators and transport authority need to be looking at how we can get people back on public transport, buses in particular, to see how we can make it more sustainable.

Coun Bradley is concerned that amid months of chaos on the trains and a reduction in bus routes over the last couple of years, there is a risk of leaving stranded people in villages unless they have a car.

“The problem we have is that if routes become less profitable for the operator they will look to reduce them, and as services are reduced, travel by bus becomes less appealing to the general public, and so less people use them and it becomes a vicious circle of decline.

“Our residents rely on a good public transport system to get them to work, get them to college and to get them to important appointments and at the moment they are being failed.”

“If you look at some of the city region areas such as Liverpool they are seeing investment in bus services, which is helping to keep people on the move,” said Coun Bradley.

“As a district council with no responsibility for transport and no funding it becomes difficult to make any meaningful progress and in effect we are just putting a sticking plaster over a much wider problem – this is why I have been pushing for the Lancashire Combined Authority to come to fruition because I think it will help us to deal with issues like this across the county.

“The 113 service cuts across several districts so it needs everyone to get together to see what can be done to provide a service that works for residents but one that can also be sustainable in the longer term.”