Bus firm’s new routes set to start Monday

Bus service users at Larkholme Community Service have signed a petition against proposed bus cuts.  They are pictured with Norma Edwards holding the petition.
Bus service users at Larkholme Community Service have signed a petition against proposed bus cuts. They are pictured with Norma Edwards holding the petition.
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A Blackpool-based bus firm which is taking over key Fleetwood and Wyre routes lost because of cutbacks is ready to roll out the new service on Monday.

Catch 22 is replacing the old 84 bus which was a key lifeline for elderly residents in Larkholme.

The Catch 22 bus firm is taking over routes in Fleetwood.

The Catch 22 bus firm is taking over routes in Fleetwood.

Residents in Larkholme and Fleetwood organised a petition after hearing that Stagecoach was withdrawing its 84 bus from April, because County Hall was ending subsidies.

But from Monday next week, Catch 22 is extending its current 22 service, originally from Mereside to Cleveleys, and it will now include the old 84 bus route through Larkholme, Fleetwood and Freeport.

And Philip Higgs, director, of Catch 22, has announced that the newly created 24 bus will run between Cleveleys, Thornton and Poulton, covering other routes lost because of the cutbacks.

Mr Higgs said: “It is a great opportunity for us and for our passengers it will offer a regular service, replacing those that were going to be lost.”

The two bus information roadshow sessions were staged at Cleveleys Bus Station and the Larlholme shops on Wednesday.

Fleetwood campaigner Angela Patchett said: “It’s really good news the 84 routes have been replaced, particularly for elderly passengers.”

And Alan Marsh, who was involved in the Larkholme petition which gathered over 600 names in just three days, said: “It’s a fabulous conclusion to things,”

However, Mr Higgs insisted a seven year banning order from a transport inspector, handed out last year would not affect the plans.

He said: “We have a hearing in June and we will deal with that when it comes up.”

Meanwhile, a £2m pot of cash made available by County Hall will help to save some of the other services in Wyre which were under threat.