A new contract gain by Pilkington Bus has seen new vehicles operating at increased frequencies since July. Accrington’s Pilkington Bus has announced it will be investing half a million pounds in new buses and staff to fulfil a contract worth £3m recently awarded by Lancashire County Council.
Alan Pilkington, Pilkington Bus Managing Director, said: “We’re proud to be offering this new service to the public. It’s a vote of confidence from Lancashire County Council (LCC). We’ve been partnering with LCC since 1979 and we’ve come to be a preferred supplier because we always provide a 100% service.”
The new routes, which began operating in July, will greatly improve transport links around the Ribble Valley, Blackburn and East Lancashire. The new services include an improvement in frequency from two-hourly to hourly, seven days a week on the Clitheroe to Chipping route, as well as services between Blackburn, Mellor, Brockhall and Clitheroe.
Pilkington Bus says the contract has come at a good time, with the current health crisis having caused challenges for the company as a result of social distancing and the temporary suspension of school services.
Mr Pilkington assured passengers that the company is doing as much as possible to run a safe, Covid-secure service: “We are doing everything we can to keep the public safe. That’s why we’ve been taking extra measures to ensure the cleanliness of our vehicles and we’re making sure the public comply with the government’s obligatory facemasks on public transport.”
Local Rochdale-based bus manufacturer Mellor has supplied two of its popular low-floor Strata buses as part of the vehicle deliveries. Mellor Area Sales Manager, Jane Dransfield, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting Pilkington Bus and other local bus operators as they recover from extremely challenging circumstances.
“Our size-appropriate bus range provides the ideal solution for local bus operators, especially on rural routes, where smaller capacity vehicles provide the flexibility and cost-effectiveness to ensure routes remain viable and frequencies are maintained. It’s a win-win solution for bus operators and their passengers.”
Lancashire County Councillor Alan Schofield, Ribble Valley South West, added: “We want to celebrate this investment of nearly £3 million. It’s great news for everyone involved. It means better connectivity and an improved service for the whole community and further afield.”