RESIDENTS are “angry and concerned” about bus services being cut in Bury north, according to the constituency’s MP.

James Frith says he has received a steady flow of letters from people in the area, concerned about the reliability of local buses and the withdrawal of the X35.

Mr Frith said removing the X35 service, which connects Walmersley to Manchester via Bury, will considerably increase journey times for residents who work in Manchester but do not drive.

And the poor service of the 472 and 474 between Bury and Ramsbottom has also been flagged up by constituents.

The MP is due to meet with bus companies in the next two weeks to discuss the issues.

First Manchester, which runs the X35, has blamed missing out on school bus contracts for having to withdraw the service.

Mr Frith said: “Since becoming the new MP for Bury North, I’ve had a steady flow of letters from constituents angry and very concerned at the rate at which local bus services are being scrapped and routes reducing, causing real problems for many.

“This problem is particularly acute for those living in our villages and in the north of the borough, in and around Tottington, Summerseat and Ramsbottom, many of whom rely on bus services to be able to get around.”

Mr Frith added he plans to speak to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to see if the can use his powers to improve bus links in the northern tip of the city-region. Phil Medlicott, managing director at First Manchester, which also runs the 474 and 472 services, said: “At First Manchester we pride ourselves on offering a reliable service that connects the communities of Greater Manchester, but from time-to-time, we do need to make revisions to reflect changes to our business.

“Unfortunately we will no longer be able to operate the X35 service due to the loss of the school bus contracts.We understand that this will cause upset and inconvenience for regular users of the service, however we have not been able to find an alternative solution to keep the service running from September onwards.

“We will however continue to operate 15-minute services to Ramsbottom and a 10-minute service to Tottington and we are arranging to meet with James Frith to discuss this decision in more detail.

“The school bus services contracts are awarded by Transport for Greater Manchester and on this occasion, our submission was unsuccessful and a new operator will take over the contract in September.”