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Councillor welcomes shuttle bus extension

July 1, 2008 12:00 AM

Rochdale's Transport Boss Councillor Zulf AliCouncillor welcomes shuttle bus extension

Rochdale's Town Centre and Railway Station are set to be connected by a free, regular shuttle bus, similar to the scheme in Manchester.

The news comes after last week Labour lost control of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) for the first time. The Conservatives have taken the Chair this year and will pass it onto the Lib Dems next year.

Rochdale's transport boss, Councillor Zulfiqar Ali has been given made the GMPTA's Spokesperson on Ethnic Minority and Community Cohesion Transport Issues. He said that the shuttle bus scheme was one of his priorities when he was elected to the authority: "We're all looking foward to the Metrolink arriving in town but that will not be for a while. This free service will be available to everyone and people will see a glimpse of what an integrated transport system is like. I always said it was madness that once people got to Rochdale on the train they had to traipse all the way to the Town Centre. Our shuttle bus will make a lot of people's lives easier.

"The more things we can do like this, the more that we can tempt people out of their cars and onto public transport. I will be calling for a report into this at the next GMPTA meeting."

Rochdale MP and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Light Rail Paul Rowen said: "This is excellent news and I await the details but this is a real step forward. Obviously the big campaign remains the 'Big Bang' Metrolink extension to the heart of our Town Centre. Hundreds of people will benefit from free shuttle buses, especially the elderly who I regularly see walking past my office and towards our Town Centre in all weathers."