Call to bring back axed hospital bus service

Disgruntled Asda staff Jill Brady, Gareth Edwards and Karen Hawkes

Disgruntled Asda staff Jill Brady, Gareth Edwards and Karen Hawkes

First published in News This Is Lancashire: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

RESIDENTS have called for a bus service which once stopped at a hospital and medical centre to be reinstated.

The 154 bus, which used to run through Unsworth, Hollins and Pilsworth towards Bury, was changed in September, to follow a new route along Bury New Road, Whitefield.

This has caused problems for residents in the area trying to get to Fairfield Hospital, to Asda in Pilsworth and to Blackford House Medical Centre.

At last week’s Whitefield and Unsworth Township Forum meeting, representatives from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) explained how they came to the decision.

TfGM official Sam Tysoe said: “Because of long-term reliability issues, the 154 service couldn’t achieve the existing timetable.

“To keep the 154 operating in its existing route would cost £85,000. If we subsidise a change, there would be a loss of other services.”

A TfGM survey found that, on the 154 bus service, between 68 to 84 per cent of journeys were not operating to time.

But residents were unhappy that an alternative route to the hospital and medical centre has not been created since the 154 service was altered.

Some argued that a useful solution would be to re-route the 93 bus service, to allow better access to Blackford House Medical Centre in Croft Lane and Fairfield Hospital.

Furthermore, a petition was recently signed by 430 people asking for the 154 bus route to be brought back.

This was pointed out by Gareth Edwards, a selling champion at the ASDA store in Pilsworth, who said he has to get two buses to and from work every day.

Mr Edwards, aged 43, of Rochdale Road, said: “Please think long and hard and please put the bus service back on.”

Margaret Ashcroft added: “We have a medical centre which most people here are registered with and yet we cannot get to it. But if we go back to the old 93 route, we will have a medical centre on our doorstep.”

Another resident said: “The scrapping of the 154 route is an absolute disaster.

“I’ve lived here since I was 12 years old and the bus service was better then than it is now.”

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