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Village buses change route

The now disused bus stop outside Ansdell library
The now disused bus stop outside Ansdell library
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Traffic congestion has seen off the last direct bus service through the heart of a Fylde village.

Residents and councillors expressed dismay after the Stagecoach 68 service switched its route through Ansdell from Commonside and Central Drive to Blackpool Road and Albany Road, cutting out the village shops.

The move comes just over three years after Blackpool Transport switched its number 11 service to the alternative route because parked cars were causing delays to timetables.

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We have had repeated feedback that Commonside is not suitable for buses, due to parked cars blocking access and ultimately impacting the reliability of the whole route.

“In line with our commitment to delivering a frequent, timely service, we decided to re-route the bus along Blackpool Road and Albany Road to improve the route and ensure we’re getting our passengers where they need to be – on time.”

Ansdell councillor Richard Redcliffe said: “It is disappointing but I can understand why the switch has been done.

“I hope Stagecoach and the County Council, as the transport operator locally, will continue to look at providing some kind of bus option for Commonside.”

Amy Parrington, a 90-year-old Ansdell resident, said: “Since I gave up driving a few years ago, I have relied on the bus to take me into Ansdell centre but now I’m having to walk further and shop in either St Annes or Lytham.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Following the changes made by Stagecoach to their commercial service 68 we have approached other operators to ask if they would consider serving Commonside and Central Drive with their services.

“There is no tendered bus service operated by Lancashire County Council in this area which we could consider diverting, however we do support Wyre and Fylde Dial-a-Bus which may be able to assist some people if they find it difficult to access their nearest bus stop.”