Blow as bid to reinstate vital Wigan bus route suffers setback
Standish councillors Adam Marsh and Ray Whittingham, along with Orrell councillor, Michael Winstanley, want the 638 Wigan to Standish circular via Worthington, Bradley route put back.
The route has been removed by Transport for Greater Manchester as part of one of a number of changes made to tendered services to reduce the level of duplication in the area.
All three councillors had written to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham asking for the service to return and calling for a consultation into the decision.
However, Coun Marsh and Coun Whittingham said Mr Burnham’s office has rebuffed their calls, saying they will not intervene to reinstate the service or push for TfGM to consult with councillors and communities.
Coun Marsh said: “Ray and I wrote to Andy Burnham (the Mayor of Greater Manchester who has responsibility for bus services) late last month setting out the case for the reinstatement of the 638 bus service.
“Many residents contacted me about the negative impact of having no bus service in Bradley and Worthington. We asked for the 638 to be reinstated or at least for other services to cover the whole of its former route.
“Andy Burnham’s office has responded saying that he will not intervene to reinstate the 638 or to ensure that the whole of the former route is covered. Nor will he push for TfGM to consult with councillors and communities over the axing of bus services in the
“I’m really disappointed about his position.
He added: “I will continue to try other ways to try and get this service reinstated.”
TfGM’s interim head of bus services, Alison Chew, said the changes to tendered services were approved by the Greater Manchester Transport Committee.
She said: “We are operating in an extremely challenging climate – both operationally and financially – and are striving to ensure TfGM-funded services serve as many people as possible.
“The changes were one of a number made to tendered services to reduce the level of duplication in the area. They were approved by the Greater Manchester Transport Committee and we are using various channels to ensure passengers are informed.
“We will continue to monitor and review the services that we fund, to ensure they are serving the local communities in the most effective and efficient way possible in these challenging times.”
Greater Manchester Combined Authority, of which Mr Burnham is a part of, were unavailable for comment when