Bus users called to help preserve rural services

County Coun John Fillis
County Coun John Fillis

County Hall is asking people what they think about a new way to put a value on local bus services when deciding which to prioritise for support.

Most buses are run by commercial companies but the council finances others which do not receive enough passenger fares to make a profit. Transport planners apply guidelines stating a subsidised service must make 40 per cent of its total operating costs through fares to offer enough value for money to be worthy of support.

But this means services which perform poorly financially are more likely to be withdrawn when there’s a need to reduce services irrespective of their value to the community they serve.

The county council is reviewing its criteria and consulting with district and parish councils, passenger groups, bus operators, and community and voluntary transport groups, as well as inviting comments from the public, until July 31. The county council is proposing to agree and publish new assessment criteria by September.

County Coun John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We think our new criteria will result in better decisions being made in future.” To complete an online questionnaire log on to www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay.