A NEW bus route has been created to ensure Astley Village residents still have a bus service following Stagecoach’s decision to withdraw the 109a service which serves Astley Village and Buckshaw Village. 

An agreement has been reached between Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council to fund the route. 

Astley Village County Councillor Aidy Riggott said: “As soon I was made aware that Stagecoach intended to remove the 109A service, my immediate priority was to seek support and guidance from the team at Lancashire County Council as to what options we had available to us and to try and get a bus service in place for Astley Village to prevent the village from becoming isolated.

“I was very pleased to receive strong support from both the Cabinet Member County Councillor Keith Iddon and Lead Member for Public Transport County Councillor Andrew Snowden who both recognised the importance of finding a solution for residents.”

County Councillor Andrew Snowden said: “Working to save services when commercial operators pull out is always hard but it’s worth the effort, as many of the routes are a lifeline to people.

“I am delighted that we have been able to agree this new route, which will be in conjunction with Chorley Council who will be putting 25% in, to match the County Council’s investment of 75% of the subsidy costs”.

County Councillor Snowden added: “I’d like to thank the local County Councillor, Aidy Riggott, who has passionately put forward the case for saving as much of the route as possible and has worked closely with me on it.

“This is only possible because of the large increases the Conservatives have made in the public transport budgets since winning control of County Hall in 2017.

“An election result that continues to pay dividends for bus users up and down Lancashire.”

The details and timings of the new routes will be confirmed shortly and it is expected that that the new service will start immediately after the 109A Service ceases to operate with County Councillor Aidy Riggott adding that he is “pressing Stagecoach and all partners to make every effort to communicate these changes to the affected residents as soon as possible.”

He also thanked Chorley Council for their willingness to find a solution and for their financial support for the new service.

Unfortunately this new service is not planned to serve Buckshaw Village which is a disappointment to all parties and to residents.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott said:  “Buckshaw Village just could not be accommodated as part of this new service’s route.

“Fortunately Buckshaw Village still has good transport connections through the existing 109 service which is currently a stable and profitable service which we do not want to alter and risk it becoming less viable by diverting it into areas of low demand.”

Cllor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “We were really disappointed to see the existing bus service was being cut by Stagecoach.

"Like we have in other parts of the borough we’ve stepped in, alongside the county council, to make sure the residents in Astley Village can still access Chorley and other parts of the borough by bus.

“Not everyone has access to a car so it’s really important we do all we can to keep all our villages linked by public transport so people can get to work, get to school and attend appointments.”


Revisions will be made to a number of routes from Monday 22 July, with the main one affected being the current Service 357 which serves Chorley and Lower Burgh, and links to the local Tesco supermarket.

This will be withdrawn and reconfigured to provide two new services, the 118 and 119 which each partially replace Service 357, with the 119 including a link to Astley Village. These new services will be funded 75% by Lancashire County Council and 25% from Chorley Borough Council.

It will mean that some areas, mainly Lower Burgh and Gillibrands Park, will now receive a bus service every 2 hours rather than every hour, however this compromise is considered necessary to ensure the continuation of a service to the larger population of Astley Village.

There will also be minor changes to Service 337 from Chorley to Ormskirk, and Service 347 from Chorley to Southport, to ensure these routes link in well with the other services.

Service 109B which is funded jointly by Lancashire County Council and Chorley Council to operate on Sundays and Monday to Saturday evenings, will also be revised to operate the same route as the new service 119.