Rush hour bus routes are axed

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WIGAN’S commuters could be left stranded after it was announced that some rush hour bus services will be cut.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has had to step in to cover the 715 bus from Wigan to Bolton after Arriva North West announced that it would be making changes to the service.

The 715 bus runs from Wigan bus station through Whelley, Haigh and Aspull before heading into Westhoughton and onto Bolton.

But the company that operates the service announced that from October 30 the 6.45pm bus from Wigan and the 5.20pm and 5.50pm journeys from Bolton to Wigan, between Mondays and Saturdays, will go.

Buses running from Monday to Friday, to Wigan from Bolton at 5.18pm and 6.20pm, will also be withdrawn.

TfGM will be funding emergency replacement services from October 31 for three months while a permanent decision is made.

Previously bus routes were subsidised by GMPTE, now TfGM, but in recent years many routes have been run completely on a commercial basis meaning that companies could decide to cut a route if it was not commercially viable.

Michael Renshaw, TfGM’s Bus and Rail Director, said: “TfGM has limited funds, through the taxpayer, to help provide essential bus services that are not provided commercially.

“If a commercial operator withdraws a service, TfGM will assess if there is a need to step in and provide a subsidised service for passengers.

“In this case, we have been able to arrange an emergency replacement, for three months, while we assess the most appropriate permanent response and report back to a future meeting of TfGM Committee’s Bus Network Sub Committee.”

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