Borough bus services both cut and created

There were winners and losers today in a major shake-up of borough bus services.

Thursday, 8th March 2018, 2:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th March 2018, 3:30 pm
A Stagecoach bus

Some services are being axed or curtailed while others are being introduced.

The changes, to be introduced next month, are a result of operators’ re-assessing the viability of certain routes and the withdrawing of public money subsidies’ being withdrawn by transport chiefs.

PMH Motors is withdrawing its 352 Winstanley College day services.

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Stagecoach is reducing the daily frequency by four of its 658 buses which take in Higher Folds, Leigh, Platt Bridge and Wigan.

Meanwhile Diamond Buses’ 695, which follows a route of Leigh, Astley, Walkden, Little Hulton, Royal Bolton Hospital and Farnworth, will from Mondays to Saturdays during the daytime only go from Leigh to the hospital.

And First’s V1 route encompassing Manchester Royal Infirmary, Princess Street, Pendleton Church and Tyldesley will soon miss out the hospital on three of its journeys.

But there are upsides for passengers too.

From April 9, two new Vantage services on the Leigh guided busway will provide an extra 130 seats, enabling more passengers to use the increasingly popular route to access retail, leisure and employment opportunities in Manchester city centre.

The new services, which will run at 6.55am from Tyldesley and at 8.19am from the A580 park and ride site, will both terminate at Princess Street.

To free up capacity, four of the other morning Vantage services will now also terminate at Princess Street rather than continue to Oxford Road. These are the 6.22am, 6.37am and 6.52am services from Atherton and the 7.10am from Leigh bus station.

Passengers on these services can continue their journey to Oxford Road by alighting at Princess Street and catch a following service.

A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesman said: “TfGM is largely funded by the 10 local authorities across Greater Manchester and has seen a significant reduction in funding over the last few years, as councils themselves are having to deal with the effects of severe funding cuts.”

But Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also welcomed the increase of peak time services on the guided busway.