Bus route saviour swoops in

A vintage bus belonging to Classic Bus North West
A vintage bus belonging to Classic Bus North West
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A “lifeline” bus service that was axed without warning is set to be resurrected after a new operator stepped in.

On Monday, the number 80 bus linking Blackpool to Preston, is due to run for the first time since December 20.

Archway Travel has today announced it plans to take over the service on a commercial basis for three months.

Residents in rural Fylde and Wyre were left cut off after the bus, which serves Inskip and Great Eccleston, was terminated after previous operator Classic Bus North West hit financial problems.

Archway has been in talks with Lancashire County Council to take over the service and is now rushing though the paperwork, which it expects to be finalised tomorrow.

The new service, which will not be backed by the taxpayer, could be extended beyond April if it turns out to be profitable, the Poulton-based company said.

Boss Michael Archer said: “We are not a charity – we will give it three months and see what happens.

“County Hall, as we know, is making big cut-backs everywhere and there is no money now sponsor the route.

“We are running smaller buses with two members of staff so if it doesn’t work then it probably never will.”

Although the timetables are still being finalised, the new buses will run hourly at peak times, terminating at around 8.30pm on weekdays and 5pm on Saturdays. There will be no service on Sundays.

Mr Archer’s son, Sam, who also works for the company, said: “It is a lifeline that service – it is how people get to the shops and to the doctors.”

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