All aboard new bus service to Wigan landmark
The latest public transport arrival in the town is preparing for its maiden journey.
The Haigh Woodland Wanderer is a new weekend bus service which will take residents to Haigh Woodland Park.
Operating from Wigan town centre, the bus will be running to the much-loved green space throughout the summer holiday season.
Haigh and its green spaces have been regularly used by many Wiganers to exercise and spend time outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Coun Chris Ready, portfolio holder for communities at the town hall, said: “Over the last year many of us have found the benefits of being active in the great outdoors more than ever.
“We hope this service will offer people the chance to visit Haigh Woodland Park more frequently, to enjoy the many miles of woodland walks and other attractions and events.”
Tickets are for £1 for adults, 50p for children and free for concessions and the Wanderer’s hourly route includes stops in Scholes, Whelley, Aspull and on Wigan Road.
In addition to the weekend schedule, it will run on Bank Holiday Monday, August 30, and through the autumn half-term between Monday October 25 and Friday October 29 to coincide with the Haigh Halloween Festival.
It is the latest in a series of boosts for the HWP in recent months, and follows on from Haigh Hall returning to the council earlier this year.
It was announced in May that Wigan Council had been awarded development funding of £256,000 to progress plans to put forward a full National Lottery grant application to underpin the further redevelopment of the woodland.
The park received a major overhaul which was completed in 2016 following £3.6m investment from the local authority.
The new bus service has received funding from The Friends of Haigh Woodland Park, TfGM, and The Community Rail Network’s Integrated Sustainable Transport Fund.
Ray Hinds from the Friends of Haigh group said: "We are happy to contribute funding to the bus service which, we hope, will see many access the park who may usually not visit as often as they might like.
“Haigh Woodland Park is a wonderful green space and offers wonderful insights into the borough's heritage which more people will now be able to access."
Professor Paul Salveson, chairman of The South-East Lancashire Community Rail Partnership, said: "Our partnership is proud to be part of this project as it works to connect residents to their surrounding green spaces.
“The new bus service offers many the opportunity to access Haigh Woodland Park who may have previously struggled to make the trip.
“We believe the service will be of great value to many and provide an accessible mode of transport to the attractions at the park."
"We would also like to see people from further afield to visit Haigh, using the train to Wigan. The bus stops right next to Wallgate station and is a short walk from North Western."
The new buses will be operated by borough-based firm Finches, which the council says is in line with its community wealth building policy.
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