School Pupils Help Save Stagecoach Route 93

A north Cumbrian bus route which had been due to be axed has been saved after school children protested the decision.

The Stagecoach 93/93A service from Carlisle to Bowness-on-Solway was to end on June 19 as part of a series of network changes by the bus operator.

But it has now been re-registered and will continue to run until April 2023.

Pupils and staff at Kirkbride Primary School

Pupils at Kirkbride Primary School wrote to Stagecoach to protest against the move and took a trip on the bus to show how well used it was.

The 93/93A service will now be jointly funded by Carlisle City and Allerdale Borough councils.

The two district councils have stepped in to help subsidise the service, with each providing £6,000 towards the costs. 

It follows public disappointment at the original decision and a campaign by local schoolchildren to save the bus service.

This week they were celebrating the news that it had been saved and teacher Anna Howe said: “Children’s voices can be really powerful.”

Rob Jones, Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire’s Managing Director, said: “We are very aware of the importance of this and other rural services to our passengers, and following discussions with key stakeholders, working in partnership has resulted in funding secured to see the continued operation of Service 93/93A. 

“Work has been going on to arrange this for some time and I thank those involved for their support and commitment in maintaining this route.

“We look forward to welcoming people back on board the 93 service.”

Leader of Carlisle City Council, John Mallinson said: “I’m delighted we can work with colleagues at Allerdale to help support this bus service with what I hope will be a short-term measure to help the service get back to profitability.

“It is a vital service for many people living in our communities along the route. It is also crucial that we support our local visitor economy as we celebrate the 1900-year anniversary of the building of Hadrian’s Wall.” 

Tony Markley, Allerdale’s Executive member with responsibility for Leisure and Tourism who is also a local councillor, said: “I’m really pleased to see the two councils working together to help fund this service. 

“This bus is crucial, not only to the local community to get to and from Carlisle and the villages along the route for shopping and appointments, but also to the many visitors who are attracted to this very special place.  

“Whilst we don’t have a statutory responsibility to fund bus services, this support is all part of our desire to have thriving towns and villages in Allerdale as embodied in our Council Strategy.” 

The two local MPs were instrumental in helping to bring about the new funding.

John Stevenson, who represents Carlisle, said: “A large number of constituents have contacted me on the subject of this bus route including a number of students. 

“I am delighted that Carlisle City Council has reacted positively to my representations and I am pleased that Stagecoach and its local authority partners have been able to come together to keep this route viable for the foreseeable future.”

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson said: “I am delighted to see agreement reached between Allerdale Borough Council and Carlisle City Council to enable the 93 and 93A services from Bowness-on-Solway to Carlisle continue to operate. 

“This route provides a vital service for residents and tourists that vastly outweighs the modest subsidy required to keep the service operating. 

“Following conversations with me and my colleague John Stevenson, the councils have agreed to cover the cost of the subsidy for this financial year.    

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the councils and Stagecoach for taking a proactive and flexible approach to resolving this issue.”