IT is just the ticket as residents on Ridge Hill Estate, Stalybridge, are celebrating after having an axed bus stop reinstated following a four-month battle.
The furore was sparked by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) removing the stop for the 389 service at the junction of St George’s Street and Church Walk which meant a lengthy walk to find another pick-up point.
Residents, many of them elderly and rely on the bus service as a lifeline, involved local councillors and took their case directly to TfGM.
As pensioner Pat Cooke, 76, of Bond Street, explained: “We had the bus service for more than 50 years and to take the stop away without warning was a disgrace.
“It cut off half the estate which was left without a bus with people having a lengthy walk to the next stop.
“We have achieved something we should not have had to do by having the stop reinstated.
“We are thankful to have it back and it is a good day, a great day for everyone.”
Pauline Emberry, 77, of Lancaster Avenue, who walks with a stick because of serious health issues, said: “Having to walk to the next bus stop for four months was killing me.
“I have two fractures in my spine and also suffer from COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).”
Frequent user Roy Armitage, 73, of St George’s Street, was annoyed no warning was given before the bus stop was axed.
He said: “I only learned about it by reading a story about it the Correspondent.
“I heard about it on the grapevine when somebody said I needed to use another stop.
“We weren’t given any notice. The day before it was axed a sticker was placed at the stop saying ‘’not is use’.
“Residents attended the bus consultation at St George’s Church and raised the matter with local councillors.
“It is great news the bus stop has been reinstated, just what we needed. It is a godsent as lots of people use it.”
Cllr Adrian Pearce was delighted with TfGM’s decision to reinstate the bus stop describing it as a “small victory in the war for better bus services”.
He said: “It feels like power to the people whose voices have been heard.
“It is important for older people, who have trouble walking, because the disappearance of the bus stop caused a lot of problems,”
Cllr Pearce added the removal of the bus stop was only brought to the attention of Stalybridge North ward councillors when they held a consultation with residents about bus services on the estate.
They wanted to submit their findings to the Greater Manchester Bus Consultation on the future of services within the county.
Residents’ views were included in the submission by local councillors to the Greater Manchester consultation.
Cllr Pearce was critical about the lack of communication from TfGM.
“We weren’t notified when the bus stop was closed or when it was reinstated.
“We only found out it had been reinstated when we attended the induction of Penny Warner as the new vicar at St George’s and parishioners told us the bus stop was back.”