End of the road for 502 and 503 bus services
8:50am Wednesday 10th October 2012 in News
TWO hospital bus services are to be withdrawn after just three months in operation — because they are losing too much money.
In July, Maytree Travel introduced the 502 and 503 circular services, which run between the Royal Bolton Hospital and Bolton bus station, Ladybridge, Deane, Daubhill and Morris Green.
Before they were introduced, people would have to take two buses to get from the those areas to the hospital.
The services will cease to run at the end of October.
The majority of Maytree’s services are on unprofitable but important routes, so Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) pays the firm a subsidy to keep buses running.
The 502 and 503 services are fully commercial routes, however. Maytree managing director Gary Hawthorne said: “It was a pure commercial venture by ourselves, with 100 per cent of the cost borne by myself.
“However the carriage figures, which is the number of customers, means that I’m losing about £2,500 per week.
“We cannot sustain such losses and therefore decided to withdraw the services.
“It is unfortunate and maybe, through time, it may have grown further, but the losses incurred cannot be continued.
“There was no financial support available from TfGM as customers can still get to the same points, albeit with two buses.”
The 502 and 503 services operate hourly between Monday and Saturday during the daytime and evening, and every 90 minutes on Sunday daytimes and evenings.