A PETITION has been launched to help restore and retain a vital bus link to and from Saddleworth.
Changes to the 180 First Bus timetable between Greenfield and Manchester has ended a previous Sunday services and removed all buses after 7pm on Monday to Saturday.
Daytime buses have also been reduced from half hourly to hourly and will only run to/from Oldham, not Manchester.
And the only service currently available to take commuters and students into Oldham by 9am in the working week leaves Greenfield at 7.28am.
Now campaigner Mick Scholes, with support from local Liberal Democrats, has organised a petition, which is available at Greenfield Library and various other village locations.
Mick said: “As we look at ways of building a fairer, greener society, public transport plays a vital role.
“Not only does it offer lower carbon emissions compared to cars and reduces congestion, it gives those on all income levels the chance to economically and safely travel to work or school and to access services in Oldham and Manchester.”
Cllr Alan Belmore added: “Cutting the direct bus link from Oldham to the Dovestone area on Sundays can only make the severe traffic problems that this popular destination endures worse. It will force people into cars.”
Saddleworth resident and transport expert Dr Richard Knowles has already helped obtain some increase in the service levels after meeting with the bus operators before Christmas.
Dr Knowles said: “It is absolutely vital for local residents that Sunday evening and twice hourly daytime 180 Greenfield-Oldham bus services are re-instated.
“The petition will show First Bus and Transport for Greater Manchester how important this service is to local residents and also visitors to Dovestone and the Peak Park.
“My 2013 bus petition succeeded in First reinstating an earlier round of bus cuts.”
Feedback from First Bus indicates the 7.28am from Greenfield will be replaced by buses at 6.53am and 7.53am. An additional peak morning service has also been slotted into the timetable.
However, there are no immediate plans to re-introduce evening and Sunday services.
As well as signing the petition residents are asked to:
- Write to: The Manager, First Manchester Buses, Walshaw Street, Oldham OL1 3TR
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Write to: Bus Customer Complaints, Transport for Greater Manchester, 2 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BG
- Email: email@example.com