A new era in Barrow’s links with the rest of Cumbria got into gear in March 1997 as the first X35 express bus to Kendal left from outside the Town Hall.

Under the headline ‘Bus link to Kendal is just the ticket’, The Mail reported that council officials, including the Mayoress Cllr Marie Derbyshire and business leaders were among those on board the inaugural service which offered a £2.50 bargain return fare and took an hour.

One new job had been created at Stagecoach, Barrow and the bus stopped at Dalton’s Tudor Square, Ulverston Victoria Road, Haverthwaite Cross Roads, Newby Bridge and Grange station.

It was the first daily service to Kendal since 1984. The luxury single decker coach was emblazed with plugs to induce South Lakes shoppers and tourists to try Barrow.

They included ‘The Difference is Debenhams’, the words Portland Walk with Barrow’s crest and motto Semper Sursum (Always Rising).

There was also a large tiger on one side and a big rhino head on the other to promote the South Lakes Wild Animal Park.

Barrow Chamber of Trade boss Vic Hudson said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s competitively priced when you look at the cost of travelling by car and parking which could cost £8 to £10.”

In 2011 The Mail published a feature about the history of bus transport in Furness.

It stated the British Electric Traction Company appeared to have been the first to seek permission for a bus service in Furness.

The firm was better known for running tram systems but in March 1914 sought a licence to run three motor buses.

The route would be from Barrow Town Hall to the centre of Dalton with an extension to Ulverston.

The first buses did not run until 1915.

Barrow Corporation started its own bus service in 1923.

In 1936 a new transport depot, costing £20,360, was opened in Hindpool Road