Residents invited to have say to help shape public transport in Saddleworth

SADDLEWORTH’S 25,000 residents are urged to help shape the future of public transport in the parish by participating in a major consultation project.

p9-transport-survey-front-coverYou might have a beef about reduced bus services, the lateness of trains arriving at Greenfield Station, the lack of a more frequent rail service, high fares or poor cycle facilities.

Possibly, but unlikely, you might even want to compliment transport bosses for the services being provided.

The survey is being carried out by Transport for Greater Manchester until November 30, 2016.

Jonathan Hughes, TFGM’s Total Transport Officer, said: “The Department for Transport  has awarded £80,000 from the Total Transport Pilot Fund to assess ways to improve public transport in Saddleworth.

“We need to know where Saddleworth’s residents travel to most frequently.

“The results of the survey will influence the development of a transport network that is suited to the needs of Saddleworth residents.”

The Independent has highlighted issues with reduced services on the 184 bus route.

However, Mr Hughes insisted: “The survey is not linked to any recent announcements by commercial bus operators to reduce services in Saddleworth.”

The survey is now available to access online at www.tfgm.com/saddleworth and hard copies will be distributed to residents and available for collection at Uppermill Library.

“We will notify you of the survey’s findings as well as publishing the results online and continue to update you on further progress,” added Mr Hughes.

The Parish Council’s Traffic and Transport sub committee recently set up a working group to respond to another major consultation project, Greater Manchester’s 2040 Transport Strategy, winning praise for their input.

Transport Strategy Officer, Richard Banks, said: “Thank you for your very informative response to the Consultation which will be most helpful as we work to finalise the document.”

Royce Franklin, chair of the Transport and Traffic sub-committee for Saddleworth and Lees, said: “The consultation paper envisaging transport in 2040 provides evidence of what TfGM is not doing rather than action already taken.

“Much should be in place in 2016.  2040 is 23 years away.  It is action we need now and customers need to see progress.

“Many other areas are ahead of TfGM.  For instance, at many bus stops there are overhead information boards providing information which let passengers know the time of the next bus and its   promptness or even whether a bus is cancelled.

“TfGM have attempted to ensure that travelling by of different modes of transport can be done with one ticket with an overarching method of payment covering trams, trains and buses.

“Why has this not been done? London have had this method through oyster cards for years.  Such a versatile approach would encourage travellers to use public transport more.

“There is absolutely no evidence attempts to ensure bus and train times are linked at certain points. Again this would encourage passengers to use public transport more.

“I do not accept that TfGM could not have done something in negotiation with the West Yorkshire Traffic Authority to stop the daily trek of motorists having to come from Marsden to Greenfield and vice versa to avoid paying the exorbitant tax to travel though the tunnel by rail.

“Whether it is because of the concentration of efforts on the excellent Metro link facility I don’t know. But we need to see action from TfGM now, not in 2040.”

 

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