Buses and Rishton Bus Stops

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In 1926 the Pendle Bus Company commenced a service running from Blackburn to Whalley, Clitheroe and Accrington. This was to pass through Rishton. The council made an application to the Blackburn corporation for buses to run regular ever 7 minutes.

Station Road Bus Stops 2nd June 2009.
Station Road Bus Stops on the 2nd June 2009.

On the 16th January 1936 the local council approached the Ribble Motor Company to place a bus stop at or near the Walmsley Arms on High Street. There is currently no bus stop there, the bus stop being lower down the road outside the Roebuck Inn. The Surveyor read correspondence received on the 5th November 1936, from the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., regarding the bus stop observed by their services at the Walmsley Arms. The Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., were requested to consider erecting one of their bus stop signs at the stop referred to. The Surveyor read a letter from the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., on the 3rd December 1936, offering to supply a Bus Stop pole and sign for the stopping place near the Walmsley Arms Hotel on condition that the Council would undertake to carry out the erection of the same. Resolved that the offer be accepted.

Roebucks Bus Stops
The bus stops on High Street, at the Roebuck, as seen in June 2009

On the 7th January 1937, the Council Resolved that they support Messrs. W. Robinson & Sons, of Great Harwood, in their application under the Road Traffic Acts, 1934, to fix their taking-up points in Rishton at the corner of Harwood Road and High Street.

The Council Surveyor reported on the 7th December 1937, that the New Bus Stop Sign in High Street had been received and erected.

A letter was read from the Traffic Commissioners giving Rishton notice of the application received for the proposed revision of return ticket regulations on services operated by the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd. on the 8th October 1936. The Council Resolved that they write stating their views with regard to the return fares at week-end.

Espanade Bus Stops
The latest bus stops on the Esplanade, moved from Cutt Lane.

The Ribble Motor Company applied for an increase to the new traffic commissioner for a rise in the minimum fare that they could charge passengers, they appealed to Rishton council who upheld the traffic commissioners decision on the 6th May 1937.

The clerk to the council was to write to the Ribble Motor Services Ltd., requesting services from Rishton direct to Lower Darwen, in connection with the proposed factory to be established in that district. This was on the 21st October 1937, and was in connection with a government scheme to help mill towns get their people to work as the mills closed down.

On the 3rd November 1938, Ribble motor services applied for a license to operate a bus service between Great Harwood and H. M. Fuse Factory via Rishton. The application was supported by the council, and the application was sent to the Lancashire traffic commissioner.

It was reported by the clerk to Rishton Urban District Council, that the Lancashire Traffic Commission had turned down the application by the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., on the 1st June 1939, for a license to provide a workmen's service from Rishton to H. M. Fuse Factory.

The clerk then went on to report that the Blackburn Corporation had applied for a license to operate a service from Blackburn via Whitebirk to the fuse factory.

1934 bus fares
1934 Ribble Bus fares from Rishton.

The council clerk reported on the decision of the Traffic Commissioners on the application of the Ribble Motor Services Ltd., for a license to operate a workmen's service from Great Harwood to HM fuse factory at Blackamoor via Rishton. The council learnt with regret, that the traffic commissioners refused the application. In view of the promise made by the Minister of Labour to employ a quota of Rishton residents at this factory, this council considers this decision detrimental to the efforts made and is of the opinion that it will result in hardship to the local people engaged there for the following reasons; that there is at present no direct travelling facilities and delay and inconvenience will be caused; and that the proposed workmens fares are less than the present combination of fares. This council therefore urges that in the interest of the public, further consideration should be given to the application.

On the 1st December 1938, The council surveyor was instructed to paint the kerbs at the bus stops in the district.

The Council clerk gave a report on the Harwood road bus Shelter on the 14th December 1939. No rent had been paid since June 1931. Councillor Booth, the Clerk, and the Surveyor were to interview the Managing Director of the Ribble Motor Services Ltd., with a view to obtaining the arrears of rent and reaching an agreement for future use.

Harwood Road Bus Stop 2nd June 2009
Harwood Road Junction Bus Stops, in 2009 only used for School Buses.
The site of the former bus stop at Harwood Road junction.

On the 11th January 1940, the Council clerk reported that as a consequence of further negotiations with Ribble Motor Services Ltd., that an offer had been made by the company to contribute the sum of £50 towards the maintenance expenses of the Harwood Road bus shelter upon condition that the shelter remains open for the use of omnibus passengers for the next ten years and that there would be no further liability upon the company. The council resolved to accept the sum of £50 on the conditions stated.

There are currently 13 bus stops in Rishton, these are located at the following;

  • The paper Mill (One each direction)

  • Hermitage street (One each direction)

  • Roebuck Inn on High Street (One each direction)

  • Junction of Harwood Road (Only One)

  • Blackburn Road near Saint Albans Road (One each direction)

  • War memorial on Blackburn Road (moved from its original location on the corner of Cutt Lane) (One each direction)

  • Reservoir, Blackburn Road (One each direction)

  • Blackburn Road near Higher Beet Farm (One each direction)

  • Harwood road near the junction with High Street (one leading to Great Harwood)

  • Harwood Road at the top of Stourton Street. (One each direction)

  • Norden Farm (One only to Great Harwood)

  • Lee Lane (One each direction)

  • Lidgett, this has been moved in 2001 into Great Harwood, and is now situated on the Harwood side of the boundary. (One each direction)

In total this makes 23, if you include the two which used to be outside the Lidgett hotel, and now reside on Blackburn Road.

Ribble Motor Services proposed the placing of Bus Stop Signs on Blackburn Road on the 19th September 1940, which the council agreed to. On the 17th October 1940, Application was made by the Council, to the Ribble Motor Company, for the provision of two further bus stops signs beyond the railway bridge on Blackburn Road.

Correspondence was received by the Urban District Council on the 19th December 1940, from Ribble Motor Services Ltd., concerning proposed bus stop signs between the Whitebirk boundary and the paper mill, which were approved.

The Council clerk was instructed to write to Ribble Motor Services Limited, on the 9th January 1941, regarding the inadequate service between the hours of 8am and 9am on the Blackburn to Clayton Le Moors bus route. Further objections were to be made to Ribble Motor Services Ltd., concerning the inadequacies of the service between Rishton and Clayton Le Moors between the hours of 7am and 8am again on the 20th February 1941. A letter was sent to the Traffic Commissioners by the Council on the 6th March, concerning the service between Rishton and Clayton, enclosing the reply received from the Ribble Motor Services Ltd.

The Council surveyor was instructed to communicate with Ribble Motor Services Ltd., regarding the positioning of 2 bus stops in lower hermitage Street on the 6th March 1941.

Hermitage Street Bus Stops 2nd June 2009.
Hermitage Street Bus Stops, 2nd June 2009.

On the 11th February 1943, the Council resolved that the application addressed to the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd. by Mr. F. Chadwick for the establishment of a bus stop at Stourton Street, be supported.

The Council Clerk was to enquire into the position, as regards the erection of a shelter for intending bus passengers at Station Road corner on the 4th March 1943.

The Council Clerk read correspondence from the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd. on the 8th April 1943, concerning the curtailed services.

On the 10th August 1944, the proposed bus stops on Lee Lane, detailed below, were approved by Rishton Urban District Council:-

From Great Harwood.


To Great Harwood.



15 yards West of Cemetery Hotel.

50 yards East of Heap's Farm.


At Heap's Farm.

30 yards East of junction with Wilpshire Road.


30 yards West of junction with Wilpshire Road.

Representation was made to the Ribble Motor Services Ltd. for the improvement of the service between Rishton and Blackburn on Saturday afternoons on the lines suggested on the 12th October 1944. The Clerk reported correspondence on the 14th December 1944, from the Ribble Motor Services Ltd., concerning the additional vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays from Rishton to Blackburn. The Clerk also reported the receipt of a petition concerning the Rishton - Blackburn Service between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. in the mornings. The petition was forwarded to the Company requesting the provision of suitable relief.

The Sanitary Inspector was to make arrangements to fix a trial waste paper receptacle to the bus stop at at Cutt Lane on the 8th February 1945.

On the 13th  December 1945, The Council Clerk submitted a letter from the Ribble Bus Company stating that an additional service would be run from Rishton to Blackburn on Wednesdays similar to that on Saturdays and that later buses were now running on the Preston - Burnley service in accordance with a revised timetable, It was Resolved - That a request be made for the removal of the stop near Whitebirk Post Office to a point near Holehouse.

Strong complaints were made regarding the local bus services on the 10th October 1946, and the Council Clerk was instructed to communicate with the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., in the strongest terms. Correspondence with the Ribble Motor Services Ltd. was received on the 7th November, from which it appeared that during afternoons the bus services through Rishton would be augmented. A complaint was still made regarding buses leaving Clayton-le-Moors to Rishton in the evening and it was Resolved That an interview be sought with the Traffic Manager and that Councillors Bridge and Sturzaker with the Clerk, attend such interview. A letter received from the Ribble Motor Services, Ltd., on the 19th December, stating that they proposed to augment the service from Clayton-le-Moors at 5-45 p. m. on Mondays to Fridays.

A deputation appointed to meet a representative of the Bus Company from the Council on the 12th June 1947, reported on their discussions and stated that it was hoped that better services would result from the interview. The Clerk also submitted a letter received from the Barrowford U.D.C. asking this Council to support them in a representation to the Ministry of Transport for the removal of restrictions imposed during the war in respect of bus stopping-places. Resolvedâ€"That the Barrowford U.D.C. be supported and that a letter be forwarded to the Ministry of Transport.

A letter from the Ribble Motor Services Ltd. was received by Rishton council on the 24th July 1947,  intimating their intention to move a bus stop 32 yards along High Street, was received and noted.

The Council Clerk submitted a report from the police concerning damage to a street lamp in Hermitage Street through contact by a Ribble bus on the 12th July 1951, and alleged to be caused by the steep camber of the road at this point.

On the 20th November 1952, The Council Clerk submitted correspondence and proposed fares schedules received from the Ribble Motor Services Ltd which formed the subject of an application to the Licensing Authority for their approval to increases in bus fares. It was Resolved, That no action be taken thereon, and that a request be made to the bus company for an additional fare stage at the Reservoir, Blackburn Road.

The Clerk was requested to communicate with the Ribble Bus Company and with two Blackburn Works regarding a service for residents of Rishton who work outside the District on the 15th October 1953.

Saint Albans Road Bus Stops
The 2 bus stops at either side of Saint Albans Road and the zebra crossing, taken on the 2nd June 2009

PASSENGERS on a popular East Lancashire bus route would soon be enjoying a more comfortable journey thanks to a new council scheme. It was reported on Saturday 14 November 1998. Borough and county transport chiefs were to join forces to improve the Hyndburn Circular route which takes in Accrington, Great Harwood, Rishton and Blackburn. The route was one of just two areas selected by the county transport committee to pilot the new Quality Partnership project. The other will run in Preston.

Bus operators joined forces with Hyndburn Borough Council and Lancashire County Council to ensure a better deal for people using the service. The scheme aimed to provide quieter vehicles that run on low emission fuels and reduce obstructions on routes.

Ian Ormerod, a borough and county councillor, said: "We are working together to try and redress some of the problems which have emerged since the deregulation of buses. I hear many complaints about buses arriving late or leaving early, bus drivers not knowing their route and routes changing without warning. Sometimes it is not the driver's fault because he has been drafted in from another area. But people feel services aren't as reliable as they used to be. The Hyndburn Circular route was selected because it covers both urban and rural areas and is terrifically important to outlying districts such as Belthorn and Green Haworth."

Funding details were to be finalised, but it is thought all the partners will contribute to route and fleet improvements.

Councillor Ormerod added: "The partnership approach is a method of improving the service. For instance, disabled people need better access to buses, which we will look to provide. I would also like to see an increase in services to make them more regular. That would be a terrific boon to people in this area."

On Tuesday 21 July 1998 an Advert firm was fined £1,000 for too-bright idea, LIGHT shining from unauthorised advertising signs upset residents and annoyed the council. One resident even had to go and sleep in another bedroom, Hyndburn magistrates were told.

London-based Citilite Limited was fined a total of £1,000 and ordered to pay £120 costs after it admitted five offences of installing advertisement panels without the consent of the local authority. The five illuminated panels, one of which did not light up due to a problem with the electricity supply, appeared in April and May this year, the court was told. Three were fixed to walls in Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors, and High Street, Rishton. Two were fixed to the pavement near the traffic light junction of Whalley Road and Queens Road, Accrington.

The bench was told that all five had been installed by Citilite Limited, of Lower Grosvenor Place, without advertisement consent being applied for. Hyndburn Council solicitor Gordon McMillan said a lot of complaints were received about the illuminated pavement signs in Whalley Road. On resident had been caused distress by light illuminating her bedroom at night and had to move into another bedroom. Citilite eventually disconnected and removed the signs. In a letter to the court, Citilite pleaded guilty to the technical breaches, adding that the regulations were complex and they believed they had enjoyed deemed consent. The company said there had been no complaint of there being a threat to public safety, and that they were not large hoardings but small well-designed panels, well maintained and inspected. Citilite added that they had agreed to rectify the situation when the breaches were brought to their attention, regretted being in breach and would not offend again.

The council had received applications from Citilite for the five sites. Four had been refused and a decision hadn't been reached on the fifth in Rishton.

In November 2005 a new bus shelter was erected out the Roebuck Inn on High Street. This had been proposed by the then Councillor, Claire Hamilton, who had received complaints from the nearby newsagents, complaining about the children gathering outside the shop in wet weather to keep dry.

Councillor Hamilton then achieved another success with the erection of two new bus shelters at the War memorial and Esplanade, again after her constituents had complained about the stops being open to the elements since they had been moved from Cutt Lane. These were erected in February 2006.


Urban Council Minutes.

Lancashire Evening telegraph, Saturday 14th November 1998, Tuesday 21 July 1998