SpotOn bus in Blackburn town centre

Changes to Blackburn SpotOn services May 8th 2011


We are making a number of alterations to our Blackburn services from the 8th May 2011. 

Our Marketing Director Nigel Eggleton said,

“There are some improvements but also, regrettably, some reductions too. No one likes change but a combination of ever increasing operating costs, a reduction in local authority support for unprofitable services and changing travel patterns means that some services are now losing significant sums of money.”

“Some services will be improved with more journeys on key links including a doubling of the frequency on one of the routes to the hospital and a new link from Shadsworth. We know that changes are often controversial but can't continue to run services that are making significant loses. Some of the routes we've had to review are a very long way short of breaking even. For example we are withdrawing the service 13 from Mellor to the town centre via Beardwood. It comes nowhere near covering its costs. In fact, if we start the week on a Monday morning it is making a loss by early afternoon on a Tuesday. We realise that if you are one of the handful of people using the service its withdrawal is a significant issue but for many parts of the day, and on large parts of the route, we are just shipping fresh air about the area. After consultations with us Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has reluctantly decided to reduce the frequency of some evening and Sunday services that its supports. I am sure that the limited number of passengers who use those services will have noticed how lightly loaded they are.”

“We reviewed the 2A service via Guide two years ago and we were encouraged to give it one last chance. However passenger numbers have continued to fall and we can no longer keep it going. It's a similar story in Beardwood and Wensley Fold.”

“We realise these are extremely difficult times for the local authorities, who are required by the legislation to look at services which can't be operated commercially. We are still involved in talks with both Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire County Councils to see what provision they are able to make for these areas.”

Summary of changes

SpotOn 2
Will operate a constant 15 minute combined frequency  with service 12 between the town centre and Newfield Drive.
Along with the 17 service there will be a 15 minute frequency to/from the Royal Blackburn Hospital. 
The 2A which operates via Guide will be withdrawn.
During the off peak hours from Monday to Friday and all day Saturday there'll now be a half hourly service from the town centre to the hospital and Newfield Drive with one bus an hour running through to Darwen.

SpotOn 3 and 4
Frequencies remaining at 20 minutes for each, creating a combined 10 minute service to/from town to Mill Hill centre. There are minor changes to departure times throughout the day.

SpotOn 9/9A
The two services will operate hourly, giving a combined half hour frequency, off peak Monday to Friday , and throughout the day on Saturdays.
9A will operate as normal to Lammack, Four Lane Ends, and then via Revidge Road and Preston New Road into town. SpotOn 9 will operate as a reverse of this.

SpotOn 12
A revised daytime Mon to Sat timetable has been introduced to create a combined 15 minute frequency at Newfield Drive in conjunction with SpotOn 2.
Support for the early morning tendered journeys on service 12C has been withdrawn by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council; however we will be operating some additional journeys commercially on service 12.

SpotOn 13/13A
Services withdrawn
SpotOn 9/9A will provide a link between town and St Mary's College

SpotOn 14
Service 14 will operate on a half hourly basis. Some early morning and Mon-Fri peak journeys are withdrawn.

SpotOn 17
Service 17 will be re-routed to operate to Shadsworth via Haslingden Rd and Royal Blackburn Hospital, continuing from Royal Blackburn Hospital to Shadsworth Road via Old Bank Lane, and then via Sett End, and Dunoon Drive before returning to Royal Blackburn Hospital via Old Bank Lane, and town via Haslingden Road.
SpotOn 17 will continue to operate half hourly creating a combined 15 minute frequency with SpotOn 2 at the Hospital, and a combined 15 minute frequency at Shadsworth with SpotOn 18 (SpotOn 18 remains unchanged).

Evening and Sunday services on SpotOn 3 & 4, 9/9A, 12A & 12C, 14, 17A
After consultation with Lancashire United, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has decided to reduce support for evening and Sunday services on these routes. As a result, frequencies have reduced. 

New timetables will be available online over the Bank Holiday weekend in the 'downloads' section of each route.