A NEW timetable for the Saddleworth Rambler bus (356) is now in operation.
The changes for the village-to-village service came into place on December 16, 2019.
The changes were introduced following alterations to the train timetables, which were effective from December 15.
The new timetable for the Saddleworth Rambler
However, the alterations could lead to a decrease in usage of the Rambler, fears former chair of Saddleworth Parish Council’s traffic and transport sub-committee Royce Franklin.
Excluding during peak hours, the Rambler arrives at Greenfield train station 50 minutes past the hour, leaving a 24-minute wait for trains to Manchester at 14 minutes past.
And trains arriving from Manchester come in at 21 minutes past the hour, seeing passengers face a 28-minute until the Rambler’s departure at 55 minutes past the hour.
Mr Franklin said: “In an ideal world there would be good connectivity at all stations between buses and other forms of public transport.
“When the Rambler started over 12 months ago it was relatively easy to time the hourly Rambler service to meet the trains both to and from Manchester. That is not the case with the new train timetable.
“The formation of any train timetable is much more complex than the Rambler’s. The latter is designed to cater for Saddleworth alone.
“The timing of trains has to take into account a much wider network nationally.
“The modifications to the Rambler timetable were discussed with Transport for Greater Manchester, who pointed out the Rambler was for all users, not just train users.
“The connectivity between the trains and buses before the recent change was a bonus for train travellers in the connection times.
“Undoubtedly the changes are going to lead to a decrease in the usage of the Rambler but it is too early to measure the long term impact because of the Christmas and New Year breaks.
“Contact will be maintained with Transport for Greater Manchester when alternative timings for the Rambler can then be considered.”