Residents in call for better bus services
Date published: 08 October 2013
FRUSTRATED Saddleworth residents headed by a former Mayor of Oldham are demanding better bus services.
First Manchester cut the 180 Greenfield/Oldham service from 30 minutes to an hour nearly a year ago without consultation and with only two weeks notice. Locals claim the hourly service leads to social isolation and hardship.
More than 500 people have signed a petition demanding reinstatement of the half-hourly service.
Retired councillor and former Oldham Mayor Richard Knowles - a professor of transport - organised the Greenfield petition with Councillor John McCann, residents and shopkeepers after requests for reinstatement were ignored.
Mr Knowles said: “An hourly bus service to Oldham is completely unacceptable. First Bus and Transport for Greater Manchester fail to understand Greenfield is Saddleworth’s largest village by population but has the worst bus service.
The Greenfield resident claims the bus company is ignoring Greenfield by holding its consultation on Saddleworth bus services only in Uppermill, Delph and Lees.
“First Bus could easily reinstate Greenfield’s half hourly bus service either by extending one of the Grotton buses or turning back the 180 bus in Oldham rather than Manchester,” he argues.
First says passengers who use services 81A, 180, 184, 350, 353 and 354 in particular are invited to participate in its consultation.
Public sessions at the Commercial Hotel in Uppermill (10.30am-3.30pm, October 12) and Delph Methodist Church Hall (October 15, 4pm-8pm) will allow residents to offer their opinions directly.
Passengers can also fill in an online form at www.firstgroup.com/manchester. The consultation ends on Friday, October 25.
First’s business development director Paul Turner said: “We are very keen to meet our customers to find out what they think of our bus services and more importantly how we can improve them.
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