MORE than 600 local residents have signed a public petition asking First Manchester Buses to ‘Bring Back Our Buses’ following changes to Greenfield’s 180 service.The petition was launched in January by community campaigner Mick Scholes after cuts to the services between Greenfield and Manchester.
The service on Sundays was removed completely, as well as all buses after 7pm on Monday to Saturday.
Daytime buses were reduced from half hourly to hourly on Monday to Saturday and now run to/from Oldham, not Manchester.
But Mick is hoping the changes will be reversed following support from the community for his petition, which has been sent to First Manchester Buses and Transport for Greater Manchester.
He said: “I am delighted by the strong support of so many local people for this community campaign to buses on the 180 route from Greenfield to Oldham.
“A special mention must go to local businesses and our local library, who have been fantastic in asking their customers to sign the petition.
“First Manchester Buses savagely cut our bus service with no public consultation. This has caused huge hardship to local residents, especially commuters and to many students needing to get to college in Oldham town centre.”
To address this, First Bus replaced the 07.28am from Greenfield with buses at 06.53am and 07.53am so there is an additional peak morning service.
Dr Richard Knowles, a Greenfield-based transport expert, commented: “TfGM claims it supports ‘Sustainable Transport’. It needs to demonstrate this by negotiating with First Bus as a matter of urgency to reinstate Greenfield’s 180 bus services, which serve Saddleworth’s largest village by population.
“Visitors to the Peak District National Park at Dovestone also now face the ludicrous situation of no 180 bus services on Sundays.”
A spokesperson for First Manchester said: “We have listened carefully to our customers and the community in reviewing services from Greenfield.
“The schedule has been revised with an additional morning departure during peak travel times and this has been in operation since January 26.
“As part of the changes we have needed to take into account passenger usage across the network and unfortunately it is not possible to extend a later evening service or re-introduce Sunday operation.”