OAP anger at change to buses

Members of the Spring View club
Members of the Spring View club
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PENSIONERS are upset at changes to a bus service which takes them to their social group.

Elderly people who meet at Spring View Over 60s Club, in Hatfield Close, Ince, have told of their disappointment that the 630 Wigan Bus Limited service from Wigan to Marlborough Avenue, Ince, has altered.

The service was run by South Lancashire Travel (SLT), but in January, Wigan Bus Limited, under Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) took over the service, adding Platt Bridge to the route,

As the bus times have changed going home from Ince to Wigan, some pensioners who rely on that service are forced to leave the club early in order to get home at a decent hour, and others are left hanging around the club up to an hour before it opens at 1pm just to get there in time.

Agnes Lynch, 83, catches the 621 bus from Scot Lane, in Newtown, to Wigan, where she gets the 630 service to Marlborough Avenue.

She said: “I have to get two buses and I have to go out early to catch the bus to the club for 12.05pm, to get there at 12.20pm. If I miss that I have to wait another hour. I find it hard, especially when the weather is bad.

“To get home I sometimes get the 630 bus at about 4.30pm, but if the traffic is bad I don’t get home until 5.45pm, as it goes to Platt Bridge and then Wigan, so if I miss my bus at Wigan, I have to wait another 15 minutes. Sometimes I leave early and miss some of the entertainment to get the 3.30pm bus, so I am home for 4.30pm.”

John Fitzsimmons, 72, of Silverdale Avenue, Higher Ince, only has one bus to catch, but admits he doesn’t like hanging around waiting for the club to open.

He said: “The bus drops us off outside the club, but we get there 45 minutes too early. Someone is usually there to let us in, but we don’t like waiting.”

A spokesman for TfGM said the addition of the Platt Bridge route had only made a marginal difference to the service.

He said: “The changes resulted from commercial decisions made by South Lancs Travel which temporarily created two competing services with similar timetables but slightly different routes.

“Now that SLT has withdrawn, TfGM is continuing to subsidise the 630 hourly between Wigan and Marlborough Avenue.

“As a result, passengers travelling from Marlborough Avenue may have to wait slightly longer for their bus.”