As part of a number of revisions to its commercial local bus services Stagecoach in Merseyside and South Lancashire is withdrawing the number 7 bus service that currently runs between Croston, Charnock Richard, Chorley and Adlington, from Sunday 5th February 2017.
Removal of this service will mean that Charnock Richard, and the Eaves Green Road, Collingwood Road, Walgarth Drive, Harrison Road and Kirkstall Road areas of Chorley will no longer be served by a bus service and there will no longer be a direct link to Chorley from Croston and Eccleston.
Councillor Paul Leadbetter who is the Conservative councillor representing Chisnall Ward, which includes Charnock Richard and Heskin said “When I heard of this I was astounded, the bus is well used by the people of Charnock Richard and to leave any area of our borough without a bus service is unacceptable, this will be affecting some of the most vulnerable people and will result in some people no longer having personal access to shopping and other services, such as doctors, it will also result in people becoming socially isolated. Other than the hairdressers Charnock Richard has no local shops and people rely on the bus service not only for shopping but also for contact with other people.”
Cllr Leadbetter, also the Conservative Group leader on Chorley Council, added “I contacted Stagecoach, who confirmed the service was to be withdrawn, and they suggested people walk to catch a bus in Coppull, this is unacceptable as many people who rely on the number 7 bus would not be able to walk to Coppull. I will be doing all I can to ensure Charnock Richard, and the areas at the southern end of Chorley, continue to have access to a bus service”
Removal of the service is a commercial decision made by Stagecoach and not a result of removal of bus subsidies from Lancashire County Council. The County Council confirmed that there will be significant impact to Chorley residents with the withdrawal of Service 7 and has requested ticket machine data from Stagecoach to establish approximate annual passenger trips from the affected area. Lancashire County Council will be liaising with other bus operators to determine if any are willing to provide any replacement services prior to exploring other alternative solutions.