NEW bus service in Edgworth — introduced because of a campaign by residents — is now under threat because of low passenger numbers.

Edgworth folk launched the campaign after it was revealed that the Arriva bus company was to end its 537 service at Bromley Cross in October last year.

The campaign culminated in not-for-profit firm Travel Assist starting a new service, the TA01, in January, between Darwen and Bolton, which has been running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A second service, TA02, currently runs between Darwen and Bury on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

But the firm has said that with a lack of people using the service, it may consider changes such as stopping at Bromley Cross and no longer continuing on to Bolton.

Another option is to have a flexible ring and ride service for residents living in and around the route.

Director of Travel Assist Jim Coulthard said: “We are a not for profit operation but we also have bills to pay, so at the end of the day it is about finding a viable option that works and means the service can pay for itself.”

Mr Coulthard said the key for the firm was to benefit and engage with the community.
Travel Assist wants to hear from residents on what changes they would like to see come in for the service.

He added: “We are a needs led service, but if the service is not being used then it will come to an end, which would be a real shame — we don’t want that, we want to be here for the long haul.”

The firm will have a stall set up at tomorrow’s table top sale at the Barlow in Bolton Road, Edgworth, where it will listen to suggestions.

There will also be a public meeting at the same venue on Monday at 2pm, which will be attended by Turton councillor Colin Rigby.

Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry, who spearheaded the initial campaign to get the route restored said he would be helping to create and distribute a new leaflet asking residents for their input.

He said: “I am determined that the residents of places such as Edgworth, Chapeltown and Turton will not be abandoned — but it is now a case of use it or lose it for this service.

“I would urge people to step up to the challenge and support this service.”

He said he would welcome a ring and ride option but added that a regular bus for the area was essential.