A partnership between Longton Parish Council and Preston Bus has saved the operator’s service 12 after cuts by Lancashire County Council (LCC) meant it could no longer be supported. A new timetable and route has been formulated and agreed with the Parish council, meaning the ‘vital link’ between Longton, New Longton and Preston remains. The Parish Council and the operator will contribute to the cost of it. It is hoped that within a couple of years, the service will be commercially viable. The agreement, in which the risk is shared between each member of the partnership, is believed to be the only one in Lancashire and one of a few nationwide.
The revised route takes a more direct link into Preston for those in Longton, New Longton and Penwortham than was the case previously. The service will start and finish at Lune Street in the city centre. A free connection will be available at the Railway Station for passengers wishing to travel to the Bus Station. As well as the improved daytime service, a single evening departure on Fridays and Saturdays will be provided for those living in Penwortham, New Longton or Longton who wish to go out into Preston for the evening.
Preston Bus MD, Bob Dunn, said, ‘I am delighted that we are able to continue to operate this lifeline service to Longton and New Longton. With all the bad news for bus passengers coming out of LCC recently, it is fantastic to be able to play a part in this innovative agreement that will see improvements for bus passengers.’