Now that’s hot! Little and large duo boost Lancashire’s buses

Friendly new ‘Little Hotline’ buses and a more frequent service between Preston and Higher Walton as Transdev launches new route 

Meet the little and large duo now turning up the heat on a key Lancashire bus route, as operator Transdev spreads its wings to serve new areas of the Red Rose County for the first time.

The bus firm’s Hotline service linking Preston with Blackburn and Burnley already features smart new-look double-deck buses launched in February to deliver higher quality and comfort on East Lancashire’s leading inter-urban bus route.

And now an all-new route, named Little Hotline, is running alongside its bigger sibling following a successful Bank Holiday weekend launch, using brand new buses built in the North West and expanding Transdev’s Lancashire network to serve Bamber Bridge, Lostock Hall, Farington and Leyland.

Transdev’s new buses have been specially built by Rochdale-based manufacturer Mellor as part of a £2.4 million total investment by the bus firm in its Lancashire network – and each bus is fully accessible and stylishly appointed inside and out.

The new Little Hotline service is delivered in partnership with Lancashire County Council and together with the existing Hotline route, doubles the frequency of Transdev’s buses on Monday to Saturday to up to four buses per hour between Preston city centre, Walton-le-Dale and Higher Walton.

CEO at Transdev Alex Hornby said: “As part of our new multi-year partnership with Lancashire County Council, we’re delighted to introduce our new Little Hotline service, which takes us into new areas of the county for the very first time. The reaction from customers old and new over the first couple of days has been amazing – so many people are telling us what a positive difference these new buses are making.

“The smart and stylish brand-new buses for Little Hotline have been custom designed for us to offer the comfort and space which customers using our Hotline service already know and love, in a fully accessible bus which can also navigate busy town streets and side roads with ease. 

“Our investment in these amazing new vehicles is all about helping us to deliver on our mission to create buses people are proud to be seen on – and as Lancashire follows the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, we’ll be playing our part in rebuilding the county’s economy by making travel easier and reducing congestion.

“A key benefit of Little Hotline being part of our Transdev family is better and simpler ticketing. It means our customers will be able to make easy connections with our other existing bus routes for onward travel across Lancashire and into Greater Manchester, all on one ticket – making travel easier and better value for money.

“As always, every one of our buses is clean, safe and ready to go, and we will continue to maintain the highest standards as we know it’s a vitally important way to make sure everyone returning to bus travel can enjoy doing so with confidence.”

Andrew Varley, Lancashire County Council public transport manager, said: “The Little Hotline-branded service represents a real improvement to the bus network between Preston, Bamber Bridge and Leyland, with smart new buses and alongside the existing Hotline service, four buses an hour between Preston and Higher Walton.

“This new service is part of a package of improvements to bus routes supported by the County Council and will improve access to education and employment opportunities and reach essential services.

“These new buses are accessible, comfortable and convenient, and I hope people will make good use of them and give them a try as we build back patronage on all our supported services.”

The new Little Hotline service runs up to every 30 minutes on Monday to Saturday and follows the same route as its bigger companion Hotline out of Preston, leaving Stand 28 at the Bus Station and travelling via Frenchwood along London Road, before crossing the River Ribble onto Victoria Road and Higher Walton Road as far as All Saints Church. 

Little Hotline then leaves the main Hotline route behind to serve Gregson Lane and Bamber Bridge, including Brindle Road, Collins Road and Brownedge Lane, and then on to Lostock Hall, Farington Moss, Earnshaw Bridge, Golden Hill and Leyland Tesco. 

From Leyland the service continues on a circular route, serving Broadfield, Earnshaw Bridge and Seven Stars, before returning to Leyland Tesco and then following the same route back to Preston.

The full range of Transdev local and regionwide tickets is available to buy and use on the new Little Hotline buses using contactless payment cards or on the free to download Transdev Go mobile app. Further details on the new service and all others run by Transdev are online at

About Transdev

Transdev in Lancashire is one of the UK’s most innovative bus companies, with operating centres in Burnley, Rochdale and Blackburn. The company also has Yorkshire operations based in Harrogate, York, Malton, Bradford and Keighley.

Its subsidiary companies provide many of the region’s most successful bus services, with branded services recognised as household names in the communities they serve. 

Full details of all Transdev bus services across the North are available online at: and on the free to download ‘Transdev Go’ mobile app.

Parent company Transdev is one of the largest public transport operators in Europe, with a reputation for delivering high quality public transport. Visit: https://www.transdev.comfor details of all Transdev services in the UK and Europe.

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