A ROSSENDALE councillor has criticised Lancashire County Council’s handling of an at-risk bus route in Newchurch.

Rossendalebus is cancelling the village’s 63A/63C service from January 28, as it was losing money.

The county council has announced a six-month replacement service, operating the same route and timetable, but is yet to find a long-term solution.

Coun Patrick Marriott, whose Hareholme ward includes Newchurch, said Rossendale Transport, which owns Rossendalebus, had offered to merge the cancelled route with its 65 service between Rawtenstall and Todmorden, but LCC rejected the idea.

He said: “Diverting the number 65 service through Newchurch at no extra cost to the tax-payer was proposed by Rossendale Transport.

“It’s bonkers that they wouldn’t let the routes be merged and have, instead, re-tendered the service to someone else, but the main thing is that the village has some form of public transport.”