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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

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Reays loses Lakes service to rival Stagecoach

A Cumbrian bus company has lost a busy summer service to a rival firm – as two other routes stop for the winter.

Wigton-based Reays’ 555R Lakes Hopper service between Keswick and Bowness will come to an end today and will not be renewed for the winter, the bus company says.

Reays says this is because the route was linked with Kendal College and the firm has now lost the service to rival company Stagecoach.

But Reays will relaunch the 555R next Easter with what it promises will be a “bigger and better service” featuring open-top Hopper double-deckers.

Meanwhile, the firm’s 77R and 78R Lakes Hopper services, launched in July, will finish their summer seasons as planned today and neither was intended to run through the winter.

The 77R ‘bike bus’ runs between Cockermouth and Keswick via the Honister Pass while the 78R shuttles between Keswick and Seatoller via Borrowdale.

Reays has also this week begun operating eight rescheduled year-round public services throughout west Cumbria.

This includes the 60 from Skinburness and Silloth to Maryport – with the route now extended to Workington.

And the 34, 35, 36, 57, 58, 59 and 101 will serve several towns including Cockermouth and Maryport, as well as many villages.

Andy Horn, Reays’ transport manager, said: “It has been a fantastic summer season for our Lakes Hopper routes, boosted by the lovely warm weather which makes it such a joy to travel on open-top buses through the national park.

“The new 78R service and the 555R service were both extremely popular but we lost the Kendal College contract to Stagecoach and this has inevitably impacted on the latter service.

“However, we have great plans for the 555R to return at Easter as part of our expanding Lakes Hopper network.

“We are also proud to be increasing our presence in west Cumbria with a range of new all-year-round public bus services, operated by better quality vehicles, offering easy, low-floor access for passengers.”

Reays runs the City Hopper bus network in Carlisle, along with one of the north of England’s biggest fleets of private hire coaches.

It also provides school buses and specialises in sports travel, operating the official team coaches for Carlisle United, Workington Reds, Workington Town and Whitehaven RL, as well as amateur sports clubs.

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