CALLS are being made for improved bus services amid complaints of buses turning up late on a major route used by commuters.

Mark Dixon, who uses the number 30 Stagecoach service to travel between Egremont and Whitehaven for work, says there have been occasions where has waited over an hour for the bus.

He feels the service is now worse than it was during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Dixon, who works at Heron Foods in Egremont, said: “If I don’t get there, the shop doesn’t open, which affects everybody in Egremont and it affects the other staff who are waiting for me.

“Coming back from work, it’s horrendous. I’m finishing work at half past four and it was ten to six when I got a bus.”

Mr Dixon said the bus service is also used by medical staff and visitors to the West Cumberland Hospital.

He said: “It isn’t just me – you would think it would be a priority, with it being a hospital route.

“I worked all through Covid in Egremont and even then, it wasn’t as bad then as it is now.”

Tom Waterhouse, managing director, Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire said: "Our teams are working hard to ensure that the vast majority of local services continue to run as normal.   

“We are currently providing 98 per cent of all our services without disruption, however I am sorry to hear about the customer's experience with the service last Friday (3 May). 

"The 16:30 service did operate, however the 17:00 bus did not operate due to no vehicle being available. For this, I can only apologise. 

“We appreciate that delays and cancellations are frustrating and I would like to sincerely thank all of our passengers for their patience and understanding during these times.”

Josh MacAlister, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Whitehaven and Workington, wrote to all bus operators in Cumbria last month, calling on them to deliver new bus services.

Cumberland Council has launched a tender for operators to provide new and improved bus services, including reinstating the number 22 route between Whitehaven, Egremont, Cleator and Cleator Moor and a new service from Seascale and Whitehaven.

In his letter, Mr MacAlister called on operators to come forward with strong bids to deliver these routes.

He said: “The ball is in the court of the bus operators and I’ve written urging existing bus operators to give serious consideration to putting in bids.

“Residents want and need these services, I hope operators will step up.”

To find out the latest Stagecoach service updates customers are advised to check the Stagecoach Bus app and website, which is updated throughout the day.