Bus services operating in East Lancashire are best divided into three categories the longer distance and express services, the local services operating in the larger towns, and the rural services serving the more remote towns and villages.
Starting with the longer distance and express services, these are best described by route. So starting with the 'X' numbered services. There is the X1/X2 operated by Lancashire United which runs from Whalley though Great Harwood, Clayton le Moors, Accrington and Haslingden before continuing to Manchester. The X43 operated by Burnley & Pendle which runs from Colne though Nelson, Burnley and Rawtenstall before continuing to Manchester. And the X63 operated by Stagecoach in Lancashire which runs from Burnley though Hapton, Huncoat, Accrington and Blackburn before continuing to Preston.
After the 'X' services there are several other useful longer distance services including. The Mainline (20-28) services operated by Burnley & Pendle, the core route of which operates between Burnley and Colne running via Nelson, but which includes services to Accrington, Padiham, Clitheroe, Whalley, Barnoldswick, Earby and Trawden. The 152 operated by Lancashire United which runs from Burnley though Padiham, Clayton le Moors, Rishton, Blackburn and Feniscowles before continuing to Preston.
The 225 again operated by Lancashire United which runs from Clitheroe though Whalley, Wilpshire, Blackburn and Darwen before continuing to Manchester. The 346 operated by Blackburn Transport which runs from Accrington though Blackburn to Darwen. However the 464 operated by Rossendale Transport runs from Accrington though Haslingden, Rawtenstall and Waterfoot to Bacup before continuing to Rochdale, whereas the 464 operated by Pilkingtons runs from Blackburn though Oswaldtwistle, Accrington, Haslingden, Rawtenstall and Waterfoot to Bacup.
One other service which is not quite a long distance service but doesn't fit into any of the other catorgies either is the Hyndburn Circular services 6, 6A, 7 & 7A operated by Lancashire United, of which the services 6 & 6A run in a clockwise direction though Blackburn, Rishton, Great Harwood, Clayton le Moors, Accrington, Church, Oswaldtwistle, Knuzden, and back though Blackburn, while the 7 & 7A run in the anticlockwise direction.
While the above information give an idea of the longer distance services operating in East Lancashire there are no doubt other services not mentioned. Contact details for bus companies mentioned above can be found at the bottom of this page, further details of the services mentioned and full timetable information can usually be obtained by contacting the appropriate company, another good source of information as well as an online journey planner can be found by visiting the UK Bus website.
Moving on to the local town services which run in most East Lancashire towns, these are too numerous and tend to change to often to give any real details here, if you know either what service you want or have a good idea of where you are travelling to and from a good source of information is the Lancashire section of the UK Bus website or if you know what company operates the service you can usually get the required information from the companies website if they have one or by phoning them, a list of Bus companies operating in East Lancs is given at the right of this page along with contact details where known.
Again the situation with rural bus service is rather complicated as many rural bus services only run to a very limited timetable and in some cases have to be booked in advance particularly in the Ribble Valley, although having said that some very useful rural bus services do run. Information for many rural bus services can again be obtained from Lancashire section of the UK Bus website, or by contacting the appropriate Tourist Information Centre details of all Tourist Information Centres in East Lancashire can be found by visiting the North West Tourist Board website, and again if you know what company operates the service you can usually get the required information from the companies website if they have one or by phoning them, a list of Bus companies operating in East Lancashire is given below along with contact details where known.