A POPULAR new bus service could be deployed to help crackdown on crime in Saddleworth.
But the primary function of the Saddleworth Rambler, introduced in May, is already proving a boost to the area.
Patronage on the 356 service, linking Denshaw and Greenfield station via Delph, Dobcross, Diggle and Uppermill, is “doing well” according to transport bosses.
Only one person indicated dissatisfaction with the Rambler in a recent survey conducted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Oldham Council.
Now Saddleworth Parish Councillor Neil Allsopp says the bus can become a mobile spy cam, especially in a crime hot spot.
Addressing the November meeting of Saddleworth Parish Council’s Transport and Traffic sub committee he said: “There is damage being done to cars and vehicles occasionally being stolen on Chapel Road.
“The Rambler comes down that road on a regular basis six days a week. So, if it isn’t already, could it be fitted with a dash cam?
“If the bus is continually going round it can record and maybe capture anything untoward.
“It would be a useful evidence gathering tool.
“With the increase in crime we are seeing at the moment, I think this would be of great value and help to the police.
“And if our Parish Council vehicle isn’t already equipped with one, then we do so.”
Councillors moved to take the matters to the full Parish Council and TfGM for approval.
The meeting was told between June and August 2018, there were 7,206 passenger trips on the Rambler.
New Transport and Traffic chairman Cllr Paul Fryer suggested the service could be extended to seven days a week.
“One of the issues I have is maybe it should run on a Sunday,” he said.
“Even just in the summer months it could be useful.”
Several people surveyed also indicated a Sunday service would be useful.
Other comments included: “Saves hunting for a car parking space in Uppermill.”
Another said: “Rambler is very dependable” while another wrote: “Best thing that ever happened.”
Cllr Allsopp said more should be done to promote the Rambler service through tourist information.
However, Cllr John Hudson added: “I’d do away with all the buses because there is no one on them.
“I would wait until someone moans about it. If there is a need people will come forward.”
A spokesperson for TfGM said: “TfGM don’t specify dash cams on contracts, so the decision to have one would be up to the operator.”