Bus Action Group -Plan A and Plan B

Whilst our plan A has always been, sensibly, to be included as a slight divert from the main x4/x5 route, it is prudent at this time to have a plan B. We are consulting on this at the moment, details below.

Why do we need a plan B?

The efforts to become part of the Spring x4/x5 timetabled service between Penrith and Keswick were rejected by Stagecoach in December 2023. We are continuing to campaign to be part of their winter 2024 timetable, but it is prudent to accept interim alternatives that are potentially on offer. We will meet with Stagecoach on 17th May. Watch this space…

What does plan B look like?

Under construction! Plan B is bound up with the consultation that the W&F Council have just run. Our campaigning meant that Greystoke was included as a named village in their survey which closed on 30th April. They are analysing the results but we heard first hand how engaged the people of Greystoke and Motherby were in that,. The outcome will be announced in mid June, so watch this space. (updated 5.5.24)

What happened to the ‘Story homes’ money?

As part of the development, Story homes gave a sum of money (S106 funding) for transport; there is a total of £38,747 for a bus service contribution for a 5 year period. The Westmorland and Furness Council currently hold this fund.

When are we getting rural mobility?

This is was due to start in autumn 2023, offering a ‘flexible booked transport 7 days a week from early morning to early evening’. Rural / Community / Village Wheels Schemes | Westmorland and Furness Council HOWEVER start dates have been repeatedly delayed and it has still not been confirmed when the launch date will be (this faq updated March 2024).

Why aren’t the Wrights bus charging the capped fare of £2 as Stagecoach do?

Not all bus operators are part of the £2 scheme. Wrights (who run the 888 service) may not have been contacted by the Dept for Transport, who went to operators directly rather than through local authorities. Mark Hodgkiss from WFC has written to them to enquire about this, but because of the short duration the service runs and the government deadlines to apply, it is unlikely the 888 will be reduced to the capped fare of £2 in 2023. Mark has now added a note to the 888 timetable pages about this, warning people the fare is not capped.

For information, fellrunner do not offer the £2 capped fare either.

Will a bus even fit through our villages?

We think so, yes. The route off the A66, through Newbiggin, Greystoke and Motherby are used by double decker buses (and lorries).

How does the subsidised taxi service work?

More information here (it’s also known as ‘rural wheels’): Rural / Community / Village Wheels Schemes | Westmorland and Furness Council *Note, we were informed at the February meeting, this is not currently running. More info to follow*

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