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Bus users delighted after "Life-line" Service is Saved

X41 Red Express has been saved thanks to a campaign by local MPs

Operator Blackburn Bus Company say low passenger numbers meant they could keep running the service which was due to cease over the weekend.

They've now performed a u-turn after a rescue package was agreed following a campaign form newly elected local MPs with a new faster rush hour service promised from next week.

More than 400 people also signed a petition against the move

Transdev said

"Together with newly elected MPs and our local authority partners, we have launched a rescue package for Red Express to keep fast, direct buses between Accrington, Haslingden, Ramsbottom and Manchester.

"Red Express has faced an uncertain future and many of you will know that we had made the difficult decision to replace it with a revised network to help us cover our ongoing costs of operation.

"However, behind the scenes, we have been busy and in the last couple of weeks we’ve had constructive discussions with local and national politicians, alongside colleagues from our local authorities. We have worked together to find a way forward which is a slightly revised timetable that includes fast buses at rush hours which will see 15 minutes shaved from journeys to make commuting much more attractive for people.

"The new fast morning rush hour journeys will arrive into Manchester, Chorlton Street, at 7.40am and 8.10am, picking up at all the usual stops in Accrington, Haslingden, Helmshore, Edenfield and Ramsbottom, then running non-stop into Manchester. The new fast afternoon rush hour journeys will leave Manchester, Chorlton Street at 4.35pm and 5.15pm running non-stop to Ramsbottom then continuing along the rest of the route as normal. "

The decision to scrap the service would've meant bus users in Ramsbottom faced needing to catch a bus into Bury and change for the Metrolink, or driving into the city centre, while passengers travelling from Accrington to Manchester would need to use the 464 to Rawtenstall and then transfer to the X43 Witch Way service from Burnley to the city.

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