U-turn over Blackburn's threatened bus service
A BUS service in Blackburn has been reinstated following a protest by residents.
The cancellation of the peak time number 14 route last month led to a petition being launched by angry customers.
The route was deregistered after Lancashire United’s contract with Little Harwood School, whose pupils also used the public service, was ended.
This meant residents needing to travel from Sunnybower to Blackburn for work could not get into town until 9.05am, providing there was no traffic, which the petition said was rarely the case.
In the letter accompanying Debbie Laurie, a Little Harwood resident, said: “At no time has the bus ever had ‘bus service for use of school children only’ on it and in fact was a public bus service.”
Coun Pat McFall, who supported the campaign, said: “The contract to take the boys to Little Harwood School ran out. It was reinstated when the boys needed to go to school again, and the contract will last as long as the boys need to get to school for.
“The petition was because people who go to work need the bus, but the bus was not making a profit and they must run the buses on a profit.”
However users of the number 12 did not share the same luck, even though their campaign to keep the route running received 249 signatures, more than five times that of the number 14.
It ran every half an hour Monday to Saturday daytimes, linking the Old Infirmary, Highercroft, Newfield Drive, and Royal Blackburn Hospital areas to Blackburn Town Centre.
Nigel Eggleton, marketing director at Transdev, said: “We withdrew the number 12 bus in the middle of September because of a significant decrease in passengers over the last three to four years.
“This dramatic decline in numbers was to such an extent where we could no longer afford to keep it running, the revenue simply didn’t cover the cost.
“The lack of passengers was probably caused by the hospital moving location and various changes to housing provision, such as a number of demolitions.”