Failsworth MP and Council leader joins forces to save bus service
Date published: 13 October 2020
Oldham Council leader Sean Fielding
Local Councillors and Failsworth MP, Angela Rayner, have joined forces to save an important local bus service.
An 11th hour proposal to scrap the Failsworth and Hollinwood sections of the 396 bus which connects Ashton to Newton Heath was presented to Councillors at the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) Committee last week. The proposal came as a shock to Failsworth Councillor and Transport Committee member Sean Fielding as the papers containing details of the change had only been circulated at 5pm the night before.
Councillor Fielding said, “Normally we get a couple of weeks’ notice if changes are proposed so that we can make our objections and try to resolve any issues before they end up in the public domain. This proposal seemed to come from nowhere.
“This service is essential for many local people, particularly the elderly, and we need to see the preservation of a direct connection between Failsworth and Ashton.”
Councillor Fielding moved deferral of the decision to allow time for Transport for Greater Manchester to come up with alternatives that would maintain the link from Failsworth to Ashton.
Failsworth MP, Angela Rayner, said, “Failsworth is in the Ashton-under-Lyne constituency and so both towns have an important connection through their governance. This should be reflected in the public transport network too.”
The local Labour Party has launched a petition to save the service and at the time of writing there were more than 250 signatures online and on paper.
Failsworth East Councillor Liz Jacques said, “It shows how important this bus is to local people given that the petition is already attracting huge interest. I hope that Transport for Greater Manchester will listen to the local people and not cut this important bus route.”
A crunch meeting was due to take place this week to discuss ways of saving the link and the campaigners are trying to get as many signatures as possible to present to TfGM. The petition can be found online at www.tiny.cc/savetheashtonbus.
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