Each Sunday, we look at how one local council promotes the bus services in its area. Today, it's the turn of Lancashire County Council.
Is this Britain's most carved-up county? Manchester and Liverpool left in the 1970s, then in the 1990s, Blackburn with Darwen and the zero-rated shame hole of Blackpool broke away.
Where do the buses go?
Lancashire used to produce a comprehensive bus map for each borough in the county. Not any more. This is what welcomes you on their website when you try to get an overview of where you can go by bus in Lancashire:
Traveline is a feasible alternative in the South and the Midlands, where it lets you search for all bus routes serving a particular area, but the woefully inadequate Traveline North West does not let you do this. If you don't already know which operator runs the route you need to use, you have no way of finding out. Unacceptable: 0 out of 5.
This page has links to timetables of all bus routes in the county. So far so good, but the order in which the links appear is in no way logical. If you don't already know the route number of or the end destination of your route, you'll struggle to find it in amongst the clutter. The information is there though, if you look hard enough. 4 out of 5.
No information on single or return fares. In fact, no indication about how much it costs to use the buses at all. There are links to all bus operators in the county here, but each will only tell you about its own tickets. There is no multi-operator ticket available in the entire county, meaning you'll pay over the odds if you need to use more than one bus company. Plusbus is completely ignored, even though it offers tickets in Accrington, Burnley, Chorley, Lancaster & Morecambe and Preston & Leyland. Maybe Lancs County Council is run by pensioners who don't need to worry about how much a journey will cost and want to keep the buses all to themselves. 0 out of 5.
If you're unfamiliar with Lancashire's bus network, you can't easily find out which bus goes where. You can find a timetable, but only if you already know what you're looking for. There's no information on fares or tickets at all. For such a large county that could attract a lot of extra tourism if it made it easy to find out how to get around, this is really quite disgraceful. Lancashire County Council scores a paltry total of 4 out of 15.