People power wins bus route reprieve

Residents of Sherwood Drive protest against changes to the bus service to Pemberton Health Centre which now only runs on Saturdays
Residents of Sherwood Drive protest against changes to the bus service to Pemberton Health Centre which now only runs on Saturdays
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RESIDENTS angered by the decision to cut their housing estate from the bus routes have been successful in their campaign to re-connect services.

Protests began after South Lancs Travel decided the 644 would no longer run up Sherwood Drive, in Worsley Hall, with buses travelling along Ormskirk Road instead.

Furious campaigners said the changes left pensioners on the estate unable to get to the bus stops to go shopping in Wigan or cross the busy main road to get home when the bus dropped them off again.

The protesters also claimed Pemberton health centre on Sherwood Drive had to cancel hundreds of appointments.

But people power has prevailed, South Lancs Travel has listened to the objections, which saw hundreds of signatures gathered on petitions, and has announced that it will re-instate the buses from Monday to Friday.

A new loop has been added to the Wigan circular route to serve the health centre.

Services will now come on to the estate from Montrose Avenue down Greenwood Avenue, before driving around the estate to emerge on Sherwood Drive at Larch Avenue.

The service will then continue back to Montrose Avenue to return to Scot Lane and Ormskirk Road.

The buses will also pick up and drop off at the health centre at the stop on the same side of the road as the clinic.

Chris Almond, bus network officer for South Lancs Travel, said: “We are happy to listen to the views of our passengers and make changes to our network to meet the needs of local residents.

“We hope that this change to the service addresses the concerns that people have had and we look forward to welcoming these passengers onto our buses in the future.”

However, campaigner John Lees says many residents will still be left out by the new loop.

Mr Lees said: “They’ve only put a turn-around in on Sherwood Drive to serve the clinic, buses won’t go to Pemberton or the infirmary.”

The changes will come into effect on July 29, after a notice period required by the Traffic Commissioner.