CALLS are being made to save a 'vital' bus service that links Preston to Skipton through the heart of the Ribble Valley. A petition was launched on Saturday in a bid to convince operators to save the 'much-loved' 280 bus, with over 200 signatures pledged so far.

Preston Bus, the firm running the service, announced it would be de-registering the route on June 17, saying they have struggled to make the route 'commercially viable'.

The service covers the length of the Ribble Valley, including several rural communities. The contract has been put up for tender and other local providers have been invited to make bids, however, there is no assurance that bids will be received.

MP Nigel Evans said: "The 280 is a vital service which runs right through the heart of the Ribble Valley, linking the centre of Lancashire to Yorkshire. Perhaps more importantly, it serves rural populations that have dire need for regular services to reach their place of work, college or university.”