Woman wins two year fight for bus to stop outside Wesham residential home

A woman has won her two year battle for the bus to stop outside her residential home in Wesham.

By Simon Drury
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 10:50 am
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 10:51 am

Fed up with struggling to get a bus into Kirkham and Lytham, Julia Hesketh embarked on a crusade for the number 78 service to stop outside Derby House.

After nearly two years, Lancashire County Council informed Julia the bus will now stop at Derby Road, Park Lane, and Mowbreck Lane from May 29.

The 76-year-old, who lives with her husband Felix, said: “There are a lot of older people living here in Derby House, which is an independent living scheme owned by Progress Housing Group. We find it hard to walk down to the main street, especially with heavy shopping, and taxis are expensive. There used to be a bus here before I moved here six years ago, but it got taken off because there were not enough people using it.

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Juloia Hesketh outside Derby House

“So I thought about getting the bus back on again and contacted my local MP, Mark Menzies. I also spoke to my local councillor, Stuart Jones, who has been very helpful. I have been campaigning for these bus stops for two years, and I have never given up. I am really passionate about this, so I am pleased they have listened to us.

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“I am surprised how much this bus means to residents. One man told me he could see his mum again – he must have been so lonely. These bus stops will give everyone their lives back.

“Now we have access to this service, maybe we can get other buses from Derby House – possibly the 61 which goes to Blackpool. It would give us more freedom. But we really must use this service, as I fear we could lose it again.”

The new bus stop outside Derby House

Coun Charlie Edwards, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "It is really good to hear from residents like Mrs Hesketh, as it shows how our investment in the rural bus network is making a difference in people's lives.

"Following requests for the No 78 service to also serve Derby Road, Park Lane and Mowbreck Lane, we added the diversion as part of a recent tender renewal process.

"I'm very pleased that from May 29, residents in the area will be able to easily catch this bus rather than walking some distance to the main road.

"Through our recently published Bus Service Improvement Plan, we are committed to improving Lancashire’s bus services to make sure they provide a high quality reliable link to and from the locations that residents actually need.

"These improvements cannot be made in isolation and it is important that we work with partners and so this collaboration with Progress Housing Group is really positive."