Lifeline offered to Lincoln's walk and ride bus service
Lincoln's walk and ride bus service could be saved if a proposed new deal is approved.
Currently run by the City of Lincoln Council, the service has faced an uncertain future due to the authority having to deal with £3m in cuts in funding from central government.
But the service could now be taken over by a partnership between Lincoln Business Improvement Group and PC Coaches of Lincoln.
Walk and ride operated since June 2001 and helps people get around the city centre and to and from uphill Lincoln.
However, the cash-strapped council has been forced to see if a commercial operator could take it over.
No tenders to run walk and ride were received, so in May the council agreed to consult with Lincolnshire County Council and Lincoln BIG on the implications of closing the service and the possibilities of finding alternative funding.
A proposal which will now go before the city council’s executive would see Lincoln BIG run the service in partnership with PC Coaches until September 2015.
Steve Bird, assistant director of communities and street scene at the city council, said: “The feedback from our consultation has shown that walk and ride is a service valued by many residents in the city.
“Should this proposal be given the go-ahead it means another important service has been saved and it is a strong indication of what can be achieved when partners with an interest in Lincoln work together.”
Matt Corrigan, chief executive of Lincoln BIG, said: “It’s great news that the partnership arrangement between Lincoln BIG and PC will allow the service to continue.
"There is still a shortfall in funding to make the service viable long term and we hope to achieve this from sponsorship and advertising revenues, as well as seeking a level of donations from customers - many of whom have indicated that they are willing to make a small contribution rather than lose the service. We also hope to boost passenger numbers by promoting the service heavily to tourist visitors.”
Peter Smith, Managing Director at PC Coaches, said: "PC Coaches is pleased to be working in partnership with Lincoln Big to save the Walk and Ride service. We have a long way to go in the coming months, it is now down to the residents of Lincoln to support this service. P C Coaches is fully committed to services within Lincolnshire"
As part of the deal, the council would donate the existing walk and ride buses to Lincoln BIG and Lincolnshire County Council are to continue their existing sponsorship.
The authority’s executive will consider the proposal at its meeting on Tuesday, 27 August.