Castleton Lib Dems Fight to Save 442

March 10, 2009 12:00 AM

Castleton Councillor Peter Davison - Fighting hard to save the 442 service.Castleton Liberal Democrats have vowed to fight tooth and nail to keep a local bus service from being axed.

It has been decided by transport chiefs that the long-running 442 service, which runs from Rochdale to Castleton via Meadway is to stop on April 19.

The service is said to be moved to Abbott Street, via Eskdale Avenue, Marland Fold and Birchfield Drive, leaving many commuters from Castleton without a bus.

The 17 service, which runs from Manchester to Rochdale, comes through Manchester Road, but does not access the smaller roads on Kirklee and Vicarage Road, where elderly residents usually use the 442.

The transport network committee of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority - formerly the GMPTA, claims that a replacement 'Local Link' service will be available, but residents Irene Conroy-Goudlen and James Goulden say this will be no good for those who have a free bus pass.

James said: "There is no proper reason why they are taking this away from us.

"This local link service is not a replacement; it is pointless to all the elderly people who have a free bus pass.

"We have been doing everything we can to save the service."

Councillor Pat Flynn, who lives on Vicarage Road, shares the disappointment of local people. She said: "If you wanted to get around Castleton, from up on Leander Drive or Kirklee into the centre, there will only be the Local Link service, which costs £1.

"Well what use is that to those who have free bus passes? What's the point in free passes if all they're going to do is make it impossible to use them?"

Flynn has written to local MP Jim Dobbin, asking him to put pressure on transport bosses to reinstate some form of service.

Councillor Peter Davison wrote to Michael Renshaw, GMITA's interim service delivery director. He said: "Last year the bus stopped going round the Kirklee and Leander housing estate and caused major problems for the many senior citizens and workers on the estate.

"Now Rossendale Transport is stopping going round Vicarage Road North and Leander Drive and Albion Street.

"The bus is not even going to the centre of Castleton.

"I feel that Rossendale Transport is failing as a bus operator and the authority should consider another operator to take over this service."

Mr Renshaw says he will investigate why the 442 bus service will no longer visit Castleton centre.