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Row over axe of Lancashire’s bus timetables

IN PRINT Passenger Jenny Swerdlow checks the times on Blackburn Boulevard

IN PRINT Passenger Jenny Swerdlow checks the times on Blackburn Boulevard

First published in News Blackpool Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

ELDERLY passengers are being left in the lurch by a decision to axe timetable information from three-quarters of Lancashire’s bus stops, it has been claimed.

Public transport bosses decided earlier this year to withdraw printed timetables from all but around 1,000 of the county’s bus stops.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 locations were affected as part of a £100,000 savings package, which also saw electronic noticeboards withdrawn at interchanges in Burnley, Nelson, and Chorley.

But the Conservative-run authority has insisted that bus operators should share the costs of providing timetables for their customers in future.

County Coun Frank De Molfetta said: “How can you expect an elderly person to pick up the telephone and text for when their next bus will arrive?”

Many elderly can ill-afford phones, he told a full council meeting, and both he and Labour colleagues across the county had been inundated with complaints from concerned passengers.

But Coun Tim Ashton, cabinet member for highways and transport, said that withdrawing the timetables was ‘not a decision taken lightly’.

He said: “The bus companies have to play their part and I have challenged them to work with us.

“We have asked them before about providing timetables and they have kicked it into the long grass. We are saving £100,000 per year and I would rather do this than reduce the number of subsidised bus services we offer.”

He told councillors that around 1,000 stops, in the main town and village areas of Lancashire, would still display timetable information.

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