THREE new bus services will be launched next week in the Cockermouth area, bringing bus connections back to various villages.

Steve Newton, operations manager at Ellenvale Coach Co, said: "We are excited to announce an expansion of our VillageRider services in and around the Cockermouth area. These services will start on Thursday, May 30, and operate on Mondays and Thursdays (excluding Bank Holidays).

"Our new venture will see long-since-lost bus connections return to several rural villages."

Dianne Standen, of the West Cumbria Bus Users Group, said: "Any improvement in public transport provision to the rural communities is very welcome.

"These services will however need to be financially viable and can only survive if they are supported through use."

The new VillageRider 66 will run three times on Mondays and Thursdays, serving Cockermouth Main Street, Mayo Street, Oakhurst, High Brigham, Broughton Cross and Greysouthen in both directions as a loop.

The VillageRider 67 will run Monday only, with one inbound and one outbound journey, serving Fletchertown, Mealsgate, Blennerhasset, Baggrow, Aspatria, Plumbland, Threapland, Gilcrux, Tallentire, Papcastle and Cockermouth Main Street.

The VillageRider 67A will run Thursday only, with one inbound and one outbound journey. This route is similar to 67, but will not serve Gilcrux, instead serving Blindcrake and Bridekirk after Threapland.

"I am optimistic this new venture will do well. We take pride in connecting - and reconnecting - local communities," said Steve.

Full details at