A popular bus service has been fully restored following a campaign backed by members of Saddleworth and Lees District Executive.
Increasing the frequency of the 180 to Greenfield to every 30 minutes Monday to Saturday daytimes is among a number of improvements to bus services being introduced in the Borough.
In October 2012 the service was cut to hourly, provoking criticism from residents. A campaign was launched to overturn the decision, including a petition which attracted more than 500 signatures, led by local residents and supported by ward members. A question was submitted to October’s Full Council meeting requesting the Local Authority’s support to lobby First Bus so that the 180 should be reinstated as a half hourly service. Following a period of consultation, First Bus has now agreed to a full reinstatement from January 28.
Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said, “The full reinstatement of the 180 service is a victory for people power but I would also like to thank First Bus for taking the views of people on board and reversing what was an unpopular decision. The return of a half hour service to Greenfield coupled with the other improvements to bus services across the Borough is a great start to the New Year for bus passengers.”
Councillor Barbara Beeley, Chair of Saddleworth and Lees District Executive, said, “This is great news for residents, especially the elderly, as the 180 is a popular service and it was a very unpopular decision when it was cut.”
Other improvements to be introduced by First Bus in the New Year are:
· Service 184 Uppermill: changes in departure times of service 184 to/from Uppermill – First will still provide 3 buses per hour but at more evenly spaced intervals;
· Service 184 Uppermill Sundays: Increase in frequency of Sunday buses to Uppermill. During shopping hours First will provide 3 buses per hour from Uppermill to Oldham and Manchester rather than 1. This will mean a bus every 15 minutes from Greenfield Railway Station through Grotton and Lees to Oldham and Manchester;
· Services 180/184: Additional journeys mid-evening to cater for evening Shoppers; additional early journeys on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Faster timetable as roadworks related to Metrolink construction end;
· Service 425 Holts and Fitton Hill: Increase in frequency at off peak times from every 12 minutes to every 10 minutes;
· Service 83 Sholver: revised times with faster journeys on route 83 (Monday to Saturday) and additional early Sunday morning journey introduced;
· Service 408 Buckstones to Stalybridge – retimed at peak times to improve timekeeping.
First are also considering other issues raised at the Saddleworth and Lees consultation event for possible implementation in April 2014.