Optare Solo bus in the previous Preston Bus park and ride livery in December 2007
|Service type||Bus services|
|Fleet||Optare Solo SR|
|Website||Preston Bus Park and Ride|
The park and ride system consists of two car parks at Portway and one at Walton-le-Dale, connected by bus routes to the city centre; the Portway route also serves Preston railway station. The services do not run on Sundays, and a reduced service operates on bank holidays. The car parks are free, with users paying for the bus journey.
Before 4 March 2013, the Portway and Walton-le-Dale sites were served by separate routes:
- Route 1 – Portway - Fishergate Shopping Centre – St George's Shopping Centre and return
- Route 2 – Walton-le-Dale - London Road/Queen Street – Jacson Street and return
The park and ride service was introduced in November 1988, operated by Ribble Motor Services and after acquisition by the Stagecoach Group in 1989 its successor Stagecoach Ribble. In 1991 Preston Bus took over operation of the service. It originally consisted of one site, at Portway in the Riversway Docklands area. The second, at Capitol Way in Walton-le-Dale, was opened on 1 December 2002.
In June 2009, a third site was opened, at Bluebell Way in Fulwood. Served by the "Orbit" routes 88A and 88C rather than having its own dedicated service, it was unpopular due to higher fares and infrequent bus service and was closed in January 2011. In February 2013, it was announced that the two park and ride routes would be combined from 4 March, to create a route (Route 1) through the city centre.
The through route was affected by congestion along Fishergate when the street was being made into a shared space, and in May 2016 the routes were separated again to improve reliability. Most journeys from the Portway site (which became Route 2) were replaced by a diversion of Route 89.
The park and ride service is run using Optare Solo SR buses. In 2011, hybrid Optare Versa buses were introduced on the Walton-le-Dale service but these were transferred to other services when the park and ride was run as a through route. Preston Bus was the first operator of Optare Solo SR buses, as eight were acquired for the Park & Ride routes, five of which entered service in May 2008. They have leather seats.
These were replaced by Optare Versa buses on the Walton-le-Dale route but continued to be used on the Portway service, and on both routes since withdrawal of the separate Portway service, due to the layout of the Portway site. Previously, Ribble used Iveco minibuses; vehicles used by Preston Bus have included Dodge minibuses, and Optare's MetroRider, Solo and Versa.
- Rhodes, Mike (1995). Preston's Trams and Buses. Venture Publications. p. 78. ISBN 1-898432-63-5.
- "Buses". September 1991: 396. Cite journal requires
- "Issue - decisions - Bluebell Way Park and Ride and the Preston Orbit Service". Lancashire County Council. Retrieved 9 August 2012.
- "White elephant park and ride 'needs experts'". Lancashire Evening Post. Johnston Publishing. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "New circular line for park and ride". Lancashire Evening Post. Johnston Publishing. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- "Preston's cuts hit Park and Ride services saved". Lancashire Evening Post. 19 May 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
- "Optare Solo SR woos passengers onto Park & Ride". Optare. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2008.
- "New Park & Ride Buses Deliver New Standards of Comfort and Quality". Preston Bus. May 2008. Archived from the original on 9 May 2008. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
- Preston Park & Ride Cross City Service 1 leaflet published by Preston Bus
|This article related to bus transport in the United Kingdom is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|