Affetside bus service saved

A Rosso bus

A Rosso bus

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

PLANNED changes to a bus route which threatened to leave Affetside without a regular service have been scrapped.

The 480 bus will now be retained on its current route from Bury to Bolton after bosses from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and the operator, Rosso Transport, met last week and renegotiated.

The U-turn comes after dozens of residents attended a meeting with TfGM officers to voice their opposition, and sent in a deluge of emails and letters in protest.

The bus service was set to have been re-routed on July 28 which would have cut out Affetside.

The only change to the service is that the 5.17pm service from Bolton to Bury will no longer operate.

Joanne Wilcock, chairman of the Affetside Society, said the village is “delight-ed” and they have now “breathed a huge sigh of relief”.

She praised Cllr Noel Bayley, Bury Council’s TfGM representative, for his hard work over the past three weeks liaising with TfGM and Rosso buses, and the three ward councillors Yvonne Wright, Simon Carter and Iain Gartside for their support.

Mrs Wilcock said the village believed the loss of the bus service would have isolated its residents.

She added: “One-third of the village uses the bus either daily, frequently or occasionally. Some to get to work and others to college.

“One resident in her 90s relies on it to get to the shops and to be able to visit friends in Harwood.

“Some villagers do not or cannot drive and the bus is a lifeline to them. We are no different than other communities in Bury, and we have the same needs. The bus is one of them and we are very pleased that Rosso have agreed to continue to run this bus service.”

Howard Hartley, head of bus for TfGM, said: “Following discussions between TfGM and the operator, as well as significant local repres-entations, we are pleased to confirm that Rosso has agreed to continue to operate service 480 on the current route between Bolton and Bury via Affetside.

“We welcome the decision from the operator to continue the running of this service.

“However, there will be changes to the timetable from Monday, July 28, so we would encourage passengers to check timetables before travelling on or after this date.”

Rosso refused to comment.

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