Campaigners have hailed a U-turn on plans to cut subsidies for buses in the Lancaster and Morecambe district.
Controversial plans to save £3.8m by withdrawing support from all loss-making evening and weekend services are to be abandoned after a public outcry.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that,” said campaigner Ursula Gallie from Caton.
“It’s a victory of a kind for us, although we are still a bit nervous about what will happen next.”
Protesters in the Lune Valley had begun a ‘Save Our Buses’ campaign and gained 1,300 signatures on a petition. This was presented to County Councillor John Fillis, cabinet member for highways and transport, at a public meeting in Caton. Mr Fillis was told that the cuts would have a huge impact on people getting to and from workand would effectively “trap people in their homes”. The authority now intends to review 72 routes on their individual merits, while at the same time ordering operators to cough up more to keep “lifeline” services running. Co Coun Fillis revealed the switch had come about after a programme of public consultation meetings demonstrated the strength of feeling against subsidy cuts.
Bus services between Lancaster and the Freehold, the Ridge the Marsh and Vale estates in Lancaster and Skerton, Heysham, Morecambe, Carnforth, Hest Bank Railway Station, Bolton-le-Sands and Overton were among those that would have been lost.