Lib Dems launch Pennines Public Transport Consultation

August 9, 2016 9:02 AM
Local transport campaigner Kitt Budd from Firgrove with hundreds of signatures on the petition on the 182 route

Local transport campaigner Kitt Budd from Firgrove with hundreds of signed petitions on the 182 route

Rochdale Lib Dem Leader Councillor Andy Kelly has joined forces with local transport campaigners to launch a consultation on the future of public transport in the Pennines. He was speaking after meeting with the Commercial Director of First Buses to discuss the removal of the 182 daytime service. Lib Dems claim that this has had a devastating impact for local people - especially those who rely on it to get to the Royal Oldham Hospital. 562 local people have signed an online petition with hundreds more signing paper copies.

Now Councillor Kelly has launched a campaign to get the 182 service restored in some form. He said: "We've been overwhelmed by the response from local people. It's clear that people have huge concerns about the lack of public transport in the Pennines. The loss of the 182 daytime services has hit local people particularly hard. I am had a very positive meeting with First Buses and it's clear they are prepared to listen. I spoke of my disappointment over unreliable bus services, my concern that drivers weren't collecting information properly and the need to establish the 182 route as a route of social need.

"We want to know what people in The Pennines think. I have written to hundreds of local people with a series of proposals. These include the restoration of a service to the Royal Oldham during the day from Firgrove, Milnrow and Newhey, more reliable services and an end to buses that simply do not turn up, a review of timetables so that people with passes can use them when they need to and to ensure that First Buses ensure that drivers collect data on passengers more efficiently. It is my view that more people have been using the 182 service than transport bosses think - that's why it is important that drivers properly collate passenger numbers."

Kitt Budd, a transport campaigner from Firgrove, said: "Since we launched our petition, hundreds of people have been in touch. They were especially concerned about the lack of consultation about key changes to important local routes. That's why we have launched our own consultation - people pay money through their taxes to ensure routes our buses subsidised. There is a compelling for Transport for Greater Manchester to work with First Buses to restart the 182 daytime services that so many people rely on."

Any one wishing to comment on public transport in the Pennines should contact Andy Kelly on 07947 609 277 or email him. To sign the petition to retain 182 daytime services go to: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-the-182-daytime-bus-services-in-firgrove-milnrow-and-newhey.