Bus alternatives for rail closure
Reporter: by JENNIFER HOLLAMBY
Date online: 10 July 2009
A SPECIAL bus package has been unveiled ahead of the closure of the Oldham loop train line in October.
A mixture of express and high-frequency services to reflect the journeys currently being made on the loop line will be put in place on August 31.
Subsidised services will also be altered to support the new timetables.
Transport bosses used the results of two surveys detailing the journeys that passengers are currently making to create the new timetables, which will be in place for 21/2 years.
Michael Renshaw, GMPTE’s interim bus and rail director, said: “We will be conducting a major information campaign over the summer to make sure that people are completely up to speed with the alternatives that will be on offer.”
Commuters can look forward to up to 18 buses an hour between Oldham and Manchester and a doubling of the number of buses that will link Milnrow, Newhey and Shaw with Manchester, including a faster service at peak periods that will also serve Buckstones.
A new link is also being provided to Rochdale railway station from Shaw, Newhey and Milnrow, as rail services will be running as normal between Manchester, Rochdale and Leeds.
Normal bus fares will apply on all the services, including special value tickets.
As well as the public information campaign, details of the new services will also be sent to local businesses and employers, as well as to community centres and libraries.
Mr Renshaw said: “A lot of work has gone into developing these services, which we believe offer reasonable alternatives for passengers during the 21/2 year conversion of the Loop Line.”
More information is available online at www.gmpte.com or by phoning 0871 200 2233.
Changes to services:
Service 20 (renumbered X82) (Milnrow/Buckstones/Shaw/Manchester) will have some extra peak hour journeys added giving a semi-express journey into Manchester.
Service 24 (Rochdale/Royton/Chadderton/Manchester) will operate every 30 minutes (instead of every 15 as at present) to accommodate increased frequencies on other services.
Services 181 and 182 (Manchester/Chadderton/Shaw/Rochdale) will double in frequency to every 15 minutes and will operate every half hour via Rochdale Rail Station; the Bluebird service twice per hour will also continue.
Service 159 (Oldham/Chadderton/Woodhouses/Failsworth/New Moston/Middleton): hourly daytime service re-timed to improve links from Failsworth and New Moston with Moston Rail Station.
Service 419 (Ashton/Chadderton/Werneth/Mills Hill/Middleton): half-hourly daytime service re-timed to improve links from Werneth and Chadderton to Mills Hill Rail Station, where a number of passengers may choose to travel from once the line is closed.
Service 408 (Stalybridge/Oldham/Shaw/Buckstones): the hourly evening and Sunday service will be timed to co-ordinate as closely as possible with the main bus service at Shaw.
Also available: Services 58 and 59 (Rochdale/Rushcroft/Shaw/Oldham/Mills Hill Station/Middleton/Manchester) which operate every seven to eight minutes between Shaw and Middleton, and every 15 minutes on other sections of route.
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