RESIDENTS who have been campaigning for a new service to help them travel to a doctors surgery have had their calls answered.

Following ‘years of campaigning’, a minibus service has been extended to provide door-to-door pick up and drop off for those living in Ainsworth.

The Ramsbottom and Tottington Local Link bus, run by Transport for Greater Manchester, previously operated in Affetside and Tottington, but did not cover as far south as Ainsworth.

Changes to the service mean there is now a collection and drop-off service for those wanting to travel between Ainsworth and Tower Family Healthcare in Tottington.

Dr Wissam El-Jouzi, a partner at Tower Family Healthcare, said: "The public transport links between Ainsworth and Tottington have never been easy.

"Our patients with limited mobility have always said it was difficult to access the surgery.

"Anything that is making that access easier is really welcome.

"Patients have already said things have really improved."

The Local Link service is a demand responsive service, where trips can be booked up to seven days in advance. Anyone is eligible to use the service as long as they register and wish to travel within the defined service area. It makes about 300 trips per month.

The service has been operating at this higher capacity for the past two months.

A resident posted on Facebook: “For several years, we have been trying to get a bus link between Ainsworth and Tottington for residents wishing to visit the Tottington Medical Practice.

“We are delighted to advise that Transport for Greater Manchester have recently extended their Local Link minibus service to facilitate this.

“Please make use of this service or we will lose it.”

The service runs between 6.45am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, with the exception of Bank Holidays. Travel to Bury Interchange is only permitted where this journey cannot be made by bus.

A single adult journey, or concessionary travel before 9.30am, costs £2.60. For those aged 60 and over travelling after 9.30am, or for children, or disabled, the journey costs £1.25.

A Transport for Greater Manchester spokesman said: “TfGM provides the Local Link minibus service, which enables people to make journeys where other public transport options are limited. “Following feedback from local residents, we decided to extend the coverage of Local Link between Ainsworth and Tottington to provide an essential transport connection."

New customers must register with Transport for Greater Manchester before they can use the service.

To register, call 0161 200 6012 or visit