Village ‘cut off’ as bus service axed

Staining residents are angry that Blackpool Transport are stopping the night time bus from Blackpool to Staining.

Staining residents are angry that Blackpool Transport are stopping the night time bus from Blackpool to Staining.

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A WOMAN claims her village has been cut off after its night-time connection to Blackpool was axed.

From Monday, the last bus for Staining will leave Blackpool at 7.10pm instead of 11.07pm – a move villager Vikki Clarke claims will leave dozens of workers stranded.

Vikki, lives on Meadow Park, Staining, but runs cake shop CupCake in Blackpool and said: “They are cutting us off completely at night.

“There’s not going to be a bus out of Staining village after 6.10pm and the last one back is at 7.10pm.

“I’ll have no way of getting home from my shop if I work late.

“It’s the only service which runs to Staining and it’s used by people coming home from work, people who work night-shifts and pensioners.”

The number 15 service is run by Blackpool Transport.

Without it Vikki said village residents will be faced with forking out for a taxi or catching a bus to the edge of the village – which for her would mean a 20 minute walk home along a country lane.

She added: “I don’t drive so I buy a pass every week and won’t be able to get home unless I spend £10 on a taxi.

“In the summer walking from the Newton Arms up to Staining isn’t too bad but in the winter it’s pitch black.”

It was standing room only as residents took their fight to the village’s parish council on Thursday night.

Representatives from Blackpool Transport attended and Vikki said: “Coun Albert Pounder was excellent so the support is good.

“We’ve suggested an hourly service – instead of half-hourly – between 8am and 10pm. They’ve said they will think about it.

“But it takes 57 days to make changes so from Monday we’re still stranded.”

Blackpool Transport have defended a decision to axe the route, claiming it was not well enough used.

Bryan Lindop, the firm’s customer services co-ordinator, said: “Patronage has declined and we’re carrying an average of 3.6 customers every evening.

“Clearly on a commercial basis it doesn’t justify running it.

“Both Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council were notified and if they think it’s necessary they can provide funding to run the service, which we would then operate.

“They’ve not responded.”