A BUS was pulled along a stretch of road at a popular Lake District tourist spot by campaigners fighting to save a lifeline service.

Around 40 people braved the wind and rain in Bowness to show their commitment to keeping the under threat 597 service running.

The Lakeland Commercials mini bus was hauled along Glebe Road by concerned community members on Saturday (April 25) to raise awareness of its uncertain future and gather much-needed funds.

Sandra Lilley, of the Friends of the 597 action group, said: "Considering the weather I'd say the turnout has been encouraging.

"This is a very important service and as far as I'm concerned I've no intention of letting it stop.

"There are other buses in the town which cost around £3.80 each way but that, or a taxi, is too expensive for people who just want to pick up bread and milk."

A victim of Cumbria County Council's cuts, the bus subsidy was withdrawn in November and one month later Windermere Town Council stepped in and agreed to pick up the cost.

The service, which takes a circular route from Windermere railway station through the Droomer Estate, Windermere Park and Goodly Dale, only runs three days a week and has on average 60 people using it in that time - many of whom make regular journeys.

Organised by Friends of the 597 and Windermere and Ambleside Lions, the bus pull raised £152 which will go towards keeping the service running in the near future.

Ben Berry, organiser and Conservative candidate in the upcoming district council elections, said: "What's clear is Windermere has a fantastic community spirit.

"This bus is very important to these people who all came down and pulled it with massive grins on their faces."

Among those who turned out in support was two-year-old Connor Thomas Kendall who pulled the rope from the front.

His mum Nicola Gardener, of Bowness, said: "My next door neighbour uses the bus and without it they wouldn't be able to get around."

Rory Inwood, who drives the 597 for Lakeland Commercials, put his holiday plans on hold to provide muscle for the bus for the pull.

"The bus gives people a way to get out and just even socialise," he said.

Also backing the campaign was Windermere and Ambleside Lions and their president Peter Irvine, and Westmorland and Lonsdale Conservative parliamentary candidate Ann Myatt who got stuck in with the pull.