Trans­port bosses give bus cuts OK

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­LOTTE DOBSON

PLANS to cut or cur­tail more than 30 bus routes across the Greater Manch­ester net­work have been given the green light by trans­port bosses.

Routes span­ning north and south Manch­ester – and tak­ing in Traf­ford Gen­eral, Manch­ester Royal In­fir­mary, Tame­side Hospi­tal and the Traf­ford Cen­tre – will be hit by the changes.

Ser­vices be­ing with­drawn in­clude routes through Gor­ton, Leven­shulme, Stock­port, Al­trin­cham, Sale, Stret­ford, Ash­ton, Bury, Old­ham, Bolton and Wi­gan.

There is also an im­pact on buses run­ning through parts of Cheshire, in­clud­ing Poyn­ton and North­wich

The changes were noted and ap­proved at the Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester (TfGM) bus net­work meet­ing held on Fri­day.

Many of the changes have been made by op­er­a­tors, while with­drawal of public fund­ing by trans­port bosses has also had an im­pact.

While the ap­proval has re­sulted in some ser­vices be­ing axed, trans­port bosses have sal­vaged some routes by li­ais­ing with the pri­vate bus op­er­a­tors in­volved.

De­spite public out­rage, the 88 ser­vice through Black­ley, Mos­ton, Harpurhey and Manch­ester city cen­tre has been cut.

The num­ber 114 has been rerouted to par­tially save the route and Stage­coach will amend the 112 ser­vice to run ev­ery 15 min­utes rather than ev­ery 20.

Di­a­mond Bus will be tak­ing up the 575, a daily day­time ser­vice, be­tween Bolton and Hor­wich, Old Lord’s Es­tate.

Nick Roberts, rep­re­sent­ing TfGM at Fri­day’s meet­ing, said: “We wel- come the op­por­tu­nity of work­ing with the com­mer­cial ser­vices.”

The bus net­work in Greater Manch­ester has shrunk by 8 mil­lion miles in just four years.

Un­der the cur­rent sys­tem, the ma­jor­ity of Greater Manch­ester’s bus ser­vices are run by com­mer­cial op­er­a­tors who are free to de­cide routes, timeta­bles and set fare lev­els. Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester (TfGM) has no say in how these ser­vices are run and is not re­spon­si­ble for plan­ning and co­or­di­nat- ing the bus net­work.

TfGM fi­nan­cially sup­ports around 20 per cent of Greater Manch­ester’s bus ser­vices, where there is a so­cial need.

The bud­get for sub­sidised ser­vices has been frozen at £27.11m over the last two years.

The de­ci­sion to axe the 88 ser­vice has met with out­rage

The an­nual Mid­dle­ton Pace Egg play be­ing per­formed at The Dusty Miller

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