A£1MILLION boost to the bus network in Lancashire has been hailed as ‘fabulous news’ in a village that lost its service.

The new administration at Lancashire County Council has committed to increase the budget to support bus services from £2m to £3m.

A key priority is to restore lost links between communities, particularly in rural areas.

That was the case for about eight months in Sabden, where villagers without access to a car were effectively ‘stranded’’ in 2016.

Other plans include increasing the frequency of services on routes where there is more demand and stabilising the network to support routes that might otherwise disappear.

Cllr Richard Newmark, who represents Sabden on Ribble Valley Council, welcomed the ‘fabulous’ news.

He said: “It’s fantastic to have money coming in. We were lucky to get the service back but we need to have the service extended. It’s not enough of a service really.

“We hope to get more people back on the bus.

“It has caused a lot of trouble. We had four families move because of jobs when we lost the service.”

Sabden is linked to Clitheroe, Whalley and Padiham on a round-robin service run by Pilkington and subsidised by the county council. It does not run on Sundays.

Cllr Newmark said he hoped the service could stop at Barrow for the small retail complex off the A59.

Cllr Andrew Snowden, the county’s lead member for highways and transport, has started a cross-party consultation.

He said: “I’m keen to ensure passengers benefit from the improvements to bus services we promised as soon as possible.

“A good public transport network is vital to support our economy, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access work and education. It also plays a vital role in helping people to carry out everyday tasks.

“This extra funding will make a significant impact in supporting and supplementing the commercial network to link communities, which might otherwise have no or very little public transport, and help to ensure transport connections across Lancashire are as effective as possible.”