Skelmersdale West County Councillor, Julie Gibson, has backed plans to maintain a bus service for Ashurst residents after Arriva Merseyside announced plans to withdraw the 313 service which serves the area, despite the fact that 85,000 passenger trips are taken per annum.
Cllr Gibson said: “The County Council received notice in April 2017 that Arriva Merseyside were to withdraw the 313 service advising that they felt that the service was not commercially viable and putting their profits above the needs of passengers. The impact on local residents is that this will remove all local public transport service journeys linking Skelmersdale with Birch Green and Ashurst and cutting off these residents from accessing local leisure and transport amenities. This service operates on a wholly commercial basis and is outside of the influence of the County Council.
She continued: “The previous Labour administration signalled its intention to provide a service for the residents and since then I have been working with members of the highways and transport team at LCC to ensure that the new Tory administration keeps this promise and that there is still a service for Ashurst residents.”
Cllr Gibson added: “A proposal has been developed which will looks to extend the current 3A service to additionally serve Birch Green and Ashurst – the service will maintain public transport service links to Asda, Newburgh and Parbold. It is proposed that the service will operate every half hour between Skelmersdale and Ashurst. Incorporating this route into the 3A service will actually reduce the cost to the County Council with increased passenger numbers and maintaining that vital link into local communities.”
She concluded: “The proposal is due to go before the County Council’s Cabinet Meeting on 13th July and I will be lobbying Cabinet Members to give it their full support.”