SCHOOLCHILDREN campaigning to keep a lifeline Carlisle bus service from being axed took a ride on the service before it disappears for good. 

Youngsters from Kirkbride Primary hopped aboard the 93A service which runs from Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle and vice-versa before it's set to be cancelled by provider Stagecoach on June 18. 

Anna Howe, a teacher of Kirkbride Primary School, said: "There was a lot of people on the bus besides us, so when they say it's not a well-used service, it's not quite the case. The bus was at capacity when we had 20 of us on today. 

READ MORE: Kirkbride pupils campaign and protest to save bus service

"The people using it were delighted to see the children and they thanked them for the work they've done on their campaign.

"It allowed the children to see what a social lifeline it was for the people that use it," she said. 

News and Star: Taking the scenic route. Taking the scenic route.

Ms Howe pointed out that one resident using the service has had to consider moving now as she doesn't drive. 

The schoolchildren have been penning letters to the bus provider in the hopes that they would deviate from cancelling the route. 

In response, a letter addressed to the Kirkbride Primary School from Stagecoach, said: "I note that while the children are concerned about older residents, which is admirable, none of them reports using the service in their letters," they said. 

"Stagecoach's comment about how the kids haven't used the service, well now we have and in style," Ms Howe said. 

News and Star: Smiles all around on the Service 93/93ASmiles all around on the Service 93/93A

"All in all, it was a really good experience, we live in a lovely part of the world it's a really scenic route. I cant fault the Stagecoach staff and drivers today they were fantastic and they were absolutely delighted to see us. They've been fantastic," she said. 

The primary pupils followed their scenic route with a picnic in Bitt's Park sunshine before hopping back on the bus home. 

Ahead of the major alterations to bus routes across the region, a spokesperson for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire said: "The pandemic has accelerated long-term changes to our economy and communities, including in people's travel patterns. We have made changes to our timetable and operations which reflect some of these changing travel patterns, and at the same time ensure we are continuing to run the services that our communities need.

"We will also continue to work with our local authority partners, who share responsibility for ensuring high quality bus networks, to maximise the opportunities ahead and ensure we are delivering the right level of services that reflect demand across the region," they said. 

READ MORE: Fury at major changes to Carlisle bus timetable as 'lifeline' services face axe