Important Bus Service Announcements

Official 76/77/77A/78 Bus Service Announcements

Bus Service 78 Timetable & Fare Changes

From Monday 18th February 2019 the 78 Bus Service, operating between St. Annes and Wesham via Ansdell, Lytham, Warton, Freckleton and Kirkham, will change in frequency from half hourly to hourly.  All bus fares will increase by a minimum of 10p from that date.

This service is wholly commercially operated by Coastal Coaches with no subsidy whatsoever from Lancashire County Council.  Increased operating costs combined with lower patronage has resulted in changes having to be made in order to keep the service commercially viable.

Coastal Coaches hope that these necessary changes will cause the minimum of disruption to our 78 Bus Service customers.

Lancashire County Council (LCC) Bus Services 76/77/77A

Coastal Coaches have been awarded the contract to operate LCC Bus Services 76/77/77A for a period of 2 years from Monday 18th February 2019.

Service 76 operates between Lytham and Blackpool via Rural Fylde and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Service 77 connects Preston to Poulton via Rural Fylde and Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Service 77A connects Preston to Myerscough Agricultural College via Rural Fylde.

All services have a 2 hourly frequency and operate Monday to Saturday but not on National/Bank Holidays.

All services are operated on behalf of and paid for by Lancashire County Council.

Official Comment – Bill Holder – Partner

Over the last few years operators of rural bus services have come under increasing financial pressure.  County Councils nationwide have withdrawn bus subsidies, new replacement vehicle costs have risen by approximately 30% along with increases in insurance for PCV vehicles and rising wage and fuel costs.

Smaller operators such as Coastal Coaches have either had to sell out to the big 4 national operators, who then scrap those less profitable routes, reduce route lengths/frequency, or leave the sector altogether.

Coastal Coaches have over the past 10 years operated services commercially and for LCC in areas that the larger operators simply cannot afford to, or see not enough profit in.  Blackpool and Preston operators have chopped and changed services to remain profitable, or in the case of the 76/77/77A rural services, handed them back to LCC as they cannot operate them profitably at the price paid by LCC.

In the case of the 78 service, which operates in areas no other operator is willing to service e.g. Kirkham to Freckleton, South Park (Lytham), Ansdell and Heyhouses, profit levels have dropped dramatically over the past 2-3 years as LCC subsidies for evening and Sunday operation have been withdrawn and operation costs have increased.  We cannot operate a profitable service at a half hourly frequency without help in the form of subsidy from LCC.

Those of you who feel that the changes in the 78 service will affect your ability to get to school/work/appointments/shopping areas at the times required should rally support from your parish/local/county Councillors for this service to be subsidised.

We thank you for your continued custom.

Bill Holder
Partner – Coastal Coaches

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