West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, this week raised West Lancashire’s transport problems with Tony Blair. Since last year West Lancashire residents have lost a number of vital bus services, including the 315 service in Haskayne and other services used by residents in Burscough, Ormskirk and Skelmersdale.
Rosie Cooper MP took her opportunity to raise the problem with Tony Blair during Prime Minister’s Question Time this week. Rosie asked for the Prime Ministers support in calling on Lancashire County Council and private bus providers not to leave West Lancashire residents stranded.
Transport issues are high on Rosie Cooper’s agenda along with local health matters. In recent weeks Rosie has met with Ministers from the Department of Transport to explore in detail what the Government is doing to build better transport systems in the constituency.
Bus services in West Lancashire have been lost through private bus providers pulling out of unviable commercial services and Lancashire County Council withdrawing funding for services which demanded excessive subsidies. On some routes the subsidy reached £44 per passenger subsidy.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“Transport problems plague West Lancashire, people are beginning to feel the effects of decisions taken before I even became MP. If by me asking a question of the Prime Minister the relevant authorities and companies take notice that the people of West Lancashire are sick and tired of losing bus services. At times it seemed as if it was one bus route per week that stopped.”
“I have heard stories about people travelling all the way to Southport in order to change buses to get to Ormskirk. What makes the situation worse is that people have to pay two fares. Its not as if they can buy a single ticket that lets them change services. This whole situation makes no sense whatsoever to me.”
“I believe that the people of West Lancashire are getting a poor deal when it comes to bus services. Increasingly people are left isolated and excluded unable to get to the hospital, to visit family and friends and they can be cut off from vital job opportunities.”
“Transport is what joins all the different aspects of our lives together – cultural, economic, leisure and social activities – and if people are reliant on buses then they face serious barriers to making the most of the opportunities available to them.”
“As the Prime Minister said buses are the key to tackling congestion. This certainly applies to West Lancashire. The combination of a seriously failing public transport system leaves people with no option to use their cars; and the recent decision over the Ormskirk by-pass means our towns and villages will become ever-more congested until they are gridlocked.”