Two weeks ago I wrote to Lancashire County Council with an urgent enquiry as the bus stops in Forton had been closed without notice, with residents being forced to walk down slim pathways and grass verges, crossing the busy 50mph A6 to get to the nearest alternative stop.
This meant some residents with prams and additional accessibility or mobility needs have not been able to get out to nursery, health appointments, and work – leaving them housebound or massively out of pocket on taxi fares.
My office has been inundated with enquiries and we have been sorting deliveries for food parcels for those who have been worst affected, and I have been liaising with Wyre Councillor Charlotte Walker to try and get a productive solution to this for residents.
It’s incredibly frustrating that the stops were due to close until March, and I was very clear with the County Council that this could not go on.
Lancashire County Council have now updated me with a short-term solution:
“When buses approach the works and need to stop to pick up or drop-off passengers at the current bus stop, the traffic management company will place the lights on all red to allow the bus service to stop to collect or drop-off all passengers. The bus will then continue along the route. This will be repeated throughout the day for all services should it be required. This is an interim solution until the new bus stop is constructed and then the old bus stop will be closed and removed.”
Hopefully this ensures that the bus stops can once again be used by passengers as usual, and I’m so pleased we’ve been able to press for a solution here to make so residents can access the wider community and not lose their access to public transport.
I know that the ongoing housing development on School Lane is also causing disruption and quite a lot of mess at the edge of the village, which I hope the developer can address to allow residents to not be as heavily impacted by the development as they are currently.
You can see Lancashire County Council’s full letter to me below: