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Cuts to local bus services will devastate our communities

January 21, 2016 9:09 AM
Irene Davidson and Councillor Andy Kelly are campaigning to safeguard bus services in Greater Manchester

Irene Davidson and Councillor Andy Kelly are campaigning to safeguard bus services in Greater Manchester

Threats to cut bus routes in Rochdale and throughout Greater Manchester will devastate communities and isolate people who depend on public transport on a daily basis. Local Lib Dem Councillor Andy Kelly has revealed that local transport bosses are planning cuts of nearly 14%. The cuts mean that many routes across the Rochdale Borough and throughout Greater Manchester are under threat.

Councillor Kelly is an experienced transport campaigner and helped run the campaign to save the threatened 451 and 462 services in Milnrow and Newhey.

Liberal Democrats in Rochdale and throughout Greater Manchester are asking the Integrated Transport Authority to protect their buses from deepening local authority budgets cuts. The cuts were revealed in a document released by transport campaigners - 'Better Transport'

Councillor Andy Kelly said: "Buses in Rochdale are the lifeblood of our community helping people get to school, work and libraries. Without our buses many of our residents won't be able to get out and about as they don't have a car. Our campaign to save local bus services in Milnrow and Newhey was successful but I worry that they will again come under threat with these additional cuts. It's clear that the Metrolink has been excellent for Rochdale and the Pennines. It is however, part of an integrated transport system and buses are critical. I will be challenging Labour transport bosses to safeguard all our services at the earliest opportunity."

Irene Davidson said: "When our local bus services were threatened - local people stood up, defended them and saved them. These potential cuts of 14% will mean that transport bosses will look towards more rural services instead of the more profitable ones. What they need to understand is the human cost of cuts and they need to know - any proposals to cut services in Milnrow and Newhey will be fought vigorously."

Liberal Democrat Lord Tony Greaves has challenged the Government over the impact of cuts to local authority budgets.

Lord Greaves said: "These cuts will have a devastating effect on the people who use them in both villages and towns across the country. All over the country, councils are stopping doing the things they do not have to do by law, with shocking consequences for communities and the quality of life of local people."

The report is available at http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/sites/default/files/pdfs/Buses_In_Crisis_Report_2015.pdf.