A family bus firm has come to the rescue of pensioners, children and shoppers stranded by Transdev’s decision to cut two areas of Oswaldtwistle from their Hyndburn circular service.

The plan to reroute the number six and seven buses away from the Thwaites Road and Windsor Road areas caused dismay and fury earlier this month.

Now Alan Pilkington, of Pilkington Bus, in Argyle Street, Accrington, has applied to take over those sections of the circular route.

Service number 20 would serve Thwaites Road and service 21 Windsor Road on a 20-minute frequency between Blackburn and Accrington six days a week starting at around 7am running till after 6pm.

If the application is granted, the new buses will start on September 17, the day after Transdev’s service is suspended.

Mr Pilkington said: “I would ask local residents not to panic. They will soon have a regular low floor bus service with pleasant drivers, operated by a local firm who puts local people and communities first.

“There will be discounts for day and week tickets for commuters, schoolchildren and students. We ran this service until about five years ago, but then concentrated on our services in Chorley.

“We think we can make a profit and provide a public service.”

Tory councillor for St Oswald’s ward Marlene Haworth, who led the protests over Transdev’s changes, said: “It’s a pity Transdev decided to drop this part of their service but I am very pleased that someone else has come forward to fill the gap.”

Transdev’s marketing director Nigel Eggleton said “Our passengers have asked for more buses to and from Royal Blackburn Hospital while commenting the current pattern of service is just a little complicated. These changes are designed to deal with these requests and at the same time make some sensible economies where certain buses are little used.”