THE RELIABILITY of buses across Greater Manchester is declining, according to report from the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

Figures show that reliability of scheduled services has dropped from last year by 0.42 per cent.

In comparison to last year, both start point and intermediate-point punctuality have also fallen. This has contributed to a decline in overall punctuality of 0.8 per cent.

TfGM cited reasons for delays in the report: "Traffic congestion in the Regional Centre has impacted on the ability of operators to increase recovery times."

The report also stated that the average age of Greater Manchester's bus fleet is higher in comparison to buses across the country.

The report states that of the passengers surveyed in March 2018, 86 per cent said they were "satisfied with their overall journey."

However, some have been launching vocal attacks on bus performance in the region.

One elderly man, aged 71 from Farnworth said transport in the area feels like "being in the 17th century."

"Everything moves at the pace of a horse. It really is a third world service," he added.

TfGM has sought action from operators in the area to improve start-point punctuality in particular.

Operators including Arriva, First Manchester, Jim Stones Travel, Rosso, Transdev and Stagecoach Manchester have been urged to act on improving punctuality and reliability.

TfGM said: "It is incumbent on them to provide reasonable recovery time and develop contingency plans to enable journeys to start punctually."

Managing Director of First Manchester, Ian Humphreys responded to the decline in performance: "There has been a number of major works across Greater Manchester which have had an impact upon bus performance, including the closure of Bolton Road in Moses Gate and extensive resurfacing works across Manchester."

He added: "We remain committed to working in partnership with TfGM to ensure bus services can continue to keep people moving during roadworks disruption. "

"By working together, local authorities and bus operators can make a real impact on congestion ."