SIXTEEN bus routes in Blackburn with Darwen could see evening and Sunday services axed if the borough goes ahead with plans to slash subsidies to operators.

Council highways boss Maureen Bateson yesterday announced a review of the cash paid to private bus operators to keep loss-making services running.

The planned changes would affect route numbers 3, 12, 14, 5A, 5C, 37, 4A, 4B, 22, D1, D2, D3, D4, D6, 8, and the 8A.

The borough’s public transport network is provided by a range of private companies with the council subsidising some services.

Due to reductions in Whitehall grants, Coun Bateson is reviewing which services and routes it currently pays for should continue.

Now she wants residents’ views on the proposals in a consultation which will run until Friday, January 31.

A similar consultation by Lancashire County Council on proposals to scrap subsidies for all loss-making Sunday, Bank Holiday and evening bus services on 72 routes, including 37 in the east of the county, ends on Friday.

They include services right across Pendle, Rossendale, Ribble Valley and Chorley including ‘The Main Line’ route from Clitheroe to Barnoldswick and services into Blackburn.

Some of the borough routes under threat would see evenings and Sunday services removed from April 1 while others would be safe until April 2015.

The major operator Transdev has said any loss of evening and Sunday bus services is worrying as many passengers using buses during the day rely on evening services to get home.

Brian Todd, of Blackburn with Darwen Older People’s Forum, said: “This is alarming. Older people will be put off using buses. They need to get back in the evening as well as go out in the day when the weather gets better.”

Coun Bateson said: “We are in really tough times at the moment and we are facing more cuts to our overall budget. Good public transport is a priority for the council. I know how important it is, I am a frequent user of buses.

“We have to look carefully at what we spend and the public transport review is part of that.

“We have to make cuts but I want the travelling public to have their say.”

Services affected

3 Revidge and 12/14 Highercroft Sunnybower late on Monday to Saturday evenings and Sunday early evening 5A/5C Blackburn Outer Circle on Monday to Friday evenings: 20:22 Anti-clockwise from Intack 20:05 Clockwise from Intack Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 and 19:00 Anti-clockwise from Intack 11:44 and 19:44 Clockwise from Intack 37 Darwen to Bromley Cross via Edgworth Edgworth to Bromley Cross element of the service with the service reverting to serving Darwen – Blacksnape – Edgworth – Chapeltown - Darwen.

4A, 4B Blackburn to Mill Hill / Leyburn Road on Sunday early evenings: 18:09 and 19:09 Blackburn to Leyburn Road and return 22 Blackburn to Shadsworth /RBH/Audley on Monday to Saturday evenings: 23:05 Blackburn to Shadsworth journey Sunday early evenings: 18:00 Blackburn to Shadsworth and return 19:00 Blackburn to Shadsworth D1 Sunnyhurst/ D2 Pothouse / Hoddlesden / D3 Bold Venture/ D4 Birch Hall/ D6 Spring Vale / Cranberry Close: Monday to Saturday: 17:00 journey Monday to Friday: 07:20, 07:40, 08:35, 17:20 journeys Monday to Friday: 07:50 and 08:00 journies Monday to Friday: 16:35 journey 8, 8A Audley / Hereford Road: Possibility of reduction in service frequency and amendments to route