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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Reays steps in to save bus services from axe

Three bus routes serving towns and villages across Cumbria have been spared the axe.

Andy Horn photo
Andy Horn

Reays of Wigton have stepped in at the last minute to save the services which were under threat after Cumbria County Council decided earlier this year to scrap subsidies for loss-making routes.

The company will take over the number six service currently run by Stagecoach between Seascale and Egremont through Gosforth, Calder Bridge and Beckermet.

The new service will take in the old 830 Egremont town service from Brownriggs of Egremont.

Also in west Cumbria the company will pick up the number 26 service from Simms of Eskdale. This circular route will link St Bees with Egremont via Moor Row and Whitehaven taking in the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Meanwhile, in the east of the county, Reays will continue to run the 95 route Great Corby, Warwick Bridge, Heads Nook and Brampton service despite the withdrawal of the subsidy.

The new arrangements will start next month after the operators currently running these routes announced that they would be pulling out.

Andy Horn, Reays’ operations manager, said: “We know these routes and how important they are for the communities they service. We believe we can operate them successfully on a purely commercial basis, without any subsidy from the county council and we are delighted to do so

“However, the future of all three of these routes will depend entirely on how much they are used by passengers.”

Reays will take over the number six service on October 20, the 26 on October 11 and the 95 on October 13. All will start immediately after the other operators cease running the routes.

Concessionary cards will still be valid on all the Reays-run services.

Reays has also announced that its 500 service between Wigton and Carlisle will be extended to Brampton from September 9.

The route, which will also start operating on Saturdays, will then provide a direct link between Wigton and Brampton via Carlisle, stopping at the Cumberland Infirmary.

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