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Monday, 21 April 2014

Barrow late bus blow

0432211
WILLIE McPHAIL

RADICAL changes will be made to Barrow bus services from next month.

Most buses will stop by 8.30pm during the week instead of 9.30pm or 10pm.

Stagecoach says the changes include improvements to daytime services, including the first ever regular service between the town centre and Furness College.

Barrow Stagecoach manager Willie McPhail said the night service cuts are being made because of lack of use.

Bus services 1, 2, 3 and 4 will now finish by 8.30pm from Sunday to Thursday, instead of running to around 9.30 pm or 10pm as they do now.

On Fridays and Saturdays most will run up to 10.30pm or 11.30pm on Walney, but after 8pm the service will be hourly.

Daytime improvements include a new town centre to West Shore service running every 15 minutes instead of the current 20 minutes and more regular services to Biggar Bank.

The changes have been put to Cumbria County Council, which has so far made no objections.

Mr McPhail said of the night cuts: “There are very, very few people travelling on the buses at those times in the week and there are not that many on Fridays and Saturdays.

“We have had endless complaints about buses running round empty.

“We are making a lot of improvements to daytime services, it is not all doom and gloom in that sense. Furness College is getting its first service.”

The changes come in on February 21 and Stagecoach is hoping they will save the firm money.

Mr McPhail said: “Our revenue is not as strong as it used to be. Like every business we are having some problems and we are having to cut our costs accordingly.”

He added that no jobs will be lost among the 88 staff.

The service changes also include new links to Barrow train station, Asda and AFC’s grounds.

Bus access to Tesco Extra will be improved and the company will run a simplified, more regular route around Holbeck estate.

Stagecoach also intends to simplify the fare structure and will create a new ‘Love Barrow’ identity on the buses.

• For full details about the changes see tomorrow’s Evening Mail

Have your say

Its only people who work that use the busses - those on benefits (which seems to be half the town at the moment judging by the number of people not at work during the day) seem to get taxis all over the place. They are the only ones who can afford them.

Posted by Johnathan on 8 January 2011 at 22:48

Luke,

It was not the price of the ticket i was commenting on (and the all day ticket for StageCoach specifically is only £3.50) it's the distance covered.

I visit Barrow regularly and have found over the ten years since I moved that the buses have become smaller, have had the routes changed for seemingly no reason (the old routes worked for decades, now it takes two buses when once I could get one) they are less regular and there are sections of the routes that are not used at all.

I am suggesting that rather than eradicate the later buses why not create a late night route that takes in the hospital, the town centre, walney and newbarns (or other areas that are needed) they could be hourly, not take the whole route, just the main sections which would mean the pregnant woman coming from walney could get a taxi in the town centre rather then walney which would cut three pound or so from the cost. The shift workers at the hospital could grab a brew while waiting for the bus and other such arrangements could be made.

As a point the night buses at the weekend run into the early hours (I think 3am is the last) with a flat rate no matter how far you travel, stagecoach could at least attempt a compromise.

Posted by Catherine on 8 January 2011 at 21:35

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