East Lancashire's main bus operator Transdev has revealed its Christmas and New Year schedules.

The firm - which runs The Blackburn Bus Company, The Burnley Bus Company, and Rosso, as well as the Hotline, Red Express and Witchway services - hopes this will enable its customers to plan their festive travel early.

It is promising to preparing to whisk thousands of people direct to the shops for a fraction of the cost of town and city centre car parking and without the traffic jams.

The Government’s announcement last month that the £2 fare cap is to continue means Christmas shoppers can avoid the stress – and cost – of driving into packed city centres while saving money for gifts, by taking the bus straight to the heart of Blackburn, Preston and Burnley, and to the ever-popular Manchester Christmas Markets.

Meanwhile, those with a concessionary travel pass travel free – so with Christmas just five weeks away, the bus operator is encouraging everyone to hop on board and as well as shopping, enjoy the many festive events planned across our region, or to spend more time with family and friends from city to country.

Transdev's commercial manager Matt Burley said: “With traffic jams, roadworks and congested car parks to contend with, driving can be a challenge at this time of year – and as many of us are watching the pennies, anything that avoids all that stress and saves money at the same time has to be a good thing.

“To make things easier, we’re releasing details of our services over the festive season earlier than ever this year – and for those who need some inspiration for a day out or just a break from shopping, we’ve produced a colourful guide to the best places to visit across Lancashire this Christmas, available free on our buses, at travel centres and on our website.”

The Burnley Bus Company and The Blackburn Bus Company buses will run as follows over the festive period:

Saturday, December 23 – normal Saturday times

• Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24 – The Burnley Bus Company: normal Sunday times with last buses around 7pm. Last journeys will be: the 1, 7.30pm from Burnley, 7.42 from Stoops; the 2, normal service; the 3, 7pm from Burnley, 7.09pm from Pike Hill; the 4, normal service; the 5, 7.10pm from Harle Syke and 7.40pm from Rosegrove; Mainline M1, 5.43pm from Burnley and 6.26pm from Accrington; the 6.43pm from Burnley will run to Hapton. Mainline M2, 6.58pm from Burnley, 7.08pm from Clitheroe; the 7.58pm from Burnley will run to Padiham. Mainline M3, 6.45pm from Burnley, 7.41pm from Trawden. Mainline M4, 6.30pm from Burnley, 6.12pm from Keighley. Mainline M5, 6pm from Burnley, 7.06 from Barnoldswick; the 8pm from Burnley will run to Colne. Mainline M6, 6.15pm from Burnley, 7.35pm from Skipton. Irwell Line, normal service, except the 5.18pm from Blackburn will finish at Rawtenstall; the 6.18pm from Blackburn will not run. Witchway, 5.40pm from Burnley, 7.00pm from Manchester; the 6.40pm from Burnley will run to Rawtenstall only.

• Christmas Eve, – The Blackburn Bus Company: normal Sunday times with last buses around 7pm. Last journeys will be: the 1, 7.10pm from Blackburn, 7.39pm from Darwen Cemetery; the 4, normal service; the 6, 7.40pm from Accrington; the 7, 7.10pm from Blackburn; Valleyline, normal service; Red Express, 5.15pm from Accrington, 6.45pm from Manchester; Hotline, 5.13pm Burnley to Preston via Blackburn at 6.05pm, 5.55pm Preston to Burnley via Blackburn at 6.40pm: the 7pm from Preston and 7.28pm from Burnley will both run as far as Blackburn.

• Christmas Day – no buses will run

• Boxing Day – The Burnley Bus Company: Mainline M2, every 30 minutes between Padiham and Burnley; Mainline M5, every 30 minutes between Colne and Burnley; V1 and V3 Boohoo buses will run as normal; Witchway, every 30 minutes between Queensgate, Burnley and Manchester.

• Wednesday, December 27, to Friday 29 – buses will run to a Saturday timetable, with extra journeys on Mainline and Witchway: the 9 will also run.

• Saturday, December 30 – normal Saturday service on all routes

• New Year’s Eve – normal Sunday times with last buses around 7pm, with final departures same as Christmas Eve

• New Year’s Day – no buses will run

• Tuesday, January 2 – normal services will resume

Full details of all services are available online at transdevbus.co.uk and via the free Transdev Go mobile app.