County blasted over buses axe

Ben Wallace will WyldeFyre driver Steven Denny at the charity's Pilling headquarters
Ben Wallace will WyldeFyre driver Steven Denny at the charity's Pilling headquarters
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COUNTY hall transport chiefs have been blasted for “failing residents” after a decision to axe free buses.

Lancashire County Council has announced plans to charge residents to use the vital dial-a-ride service from July 1.

And now bosses at Fylde and Wyre Councils – who used to be responsible for the services – have slammed the county council amid fears people living in rural areas could be left stranded.

Fylde leader Coun David Eaves said: “Quite clearly I think the county council has failed its residents.

“I think it’s a double blow to rural residents because they are very hard pressed to actually be able to catch a local bus service.

“I feel very sorry for those people. I really think the county council should reconsider its decision.”

The WyldeFyre bus, which is run by Lune Valley Transport and helps residents in rural areas, is thought to be under threat from the changes, while the Traveline operated Wyre and Fylde dial-a-ride will now charge.

The decision to axe concessionary fares on the services has been defended by the county council, which claims it is pumping £1m a year into it.

But they say they are still faced with a £700,000 shortfall which used to be funded by the district councils.

But Coun Peter Gibson, Wyre Council leader, said: “The Government took concessionary travel off us and now it’s a county responsibility.

“It’s the most vulnerable and most isolated who are going to be affected.

“We’ve not been consulted properly. I don’t think it’s fair and we’re not in favour of it.”