Bus service cuts not the ticket

RESIDENTS in Ridge Hill, Stalybridge, are feeling even more isolated after cuts to a popular bus service.

And Stalybridge North ward councillors have requested a meeting with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to detail the issues.

They also argue this case highlights the need to bring bus services under public control, something Mr Burnham has pledged to do.

Councillor Adrian Pearce said: “In the last month, Stalybridge North ward councillors have each received a large number of complaints about cuts to the 389 service.

389 bus service

“The frequency of the 389 service was reduced from half-hourly to hourly when Stagecoach stopped operating the route as a commercial service.

“This circular route serves Stalybridge, Dukinfield and Ashton including Stalybridge railway station, Tameside Hospital and the new terminus in Ashton. It is a vital link for people living across these three towns, but in particular those people living in the Ridge Hill area.

“The frequency of buses and number of routes have been repeatedly cut in this area over the past 10 years leaving many people, who do not have private transport, increasingly isolated and wondering how they will get to medical appointments, do their shopping or visit friends.

“It is another blow for an area which is poorly served by local facilities and suffers some of the highest levels of deprivation in Tameside.”

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) replaced this service with an hourly subsidised service, which although better than nothing, is inconvenient and leaves many people having to find alternative transport to get to work or college, attend appointments or shop.

Cllr Pearce continued: “As a result, the residents of Ridge Hill find themselves the victims of two Government policies: running the buses as a business rather than as a public service and the continual reduction in Government grant for subsidies to run uneconomic” routes.

“Over the last five years, the money available to TfGM to subsidise services has been reduced. It means, in effect, that TfGM can now only grant subsidies to run buses on an hourly basis, a policy which now applies to the 389 route.

“There appears to be no exceptions to this rule which applies across Greater Manchester.

“The difficulty with this policy is that it takes no account of terrain or poverty which impact differently upon the lives of the diverse communities of Greater Manchester.

“Although this policy might have been designed to provide equal slices of a continually diminishing cake, in reality, the reductions in bus services have a disproportionate impact upon poorer communities or those living in areas with more challenging terrain. This is certainly the case in Ridge Hill.

“Unfortunately, the recently announced bus reforms, which we welcome, will not in the short term reverse these changes, but as councillors we will not allow them to go unchallenged because of the severe impact upon people’s lives.”

Stalybridge North ward councillors have requested a meeting with the Mr Burnham to make him aware of the impact of these changes and with TfGM to ask for the reinstatement of the 389 to a half-hourly service and for a review of the way in which bus routes are subsidised in Greater Manchester.

3 Replies to “Bus service cuts not the ticket”

  1. Half hourly 389??? 😂😂😂
    It carries mostly fresh air as it is. There is simply no demand for it to run every half an hour.

    1. The 389 doesn’t run where or when people need it to ,that is why there are so few passengers. It was well used by people and school children when it carried on to Hyde .this part of the route needs to be reinstated

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  2. Its disgusting that a big estate has an hourly bus service but other council estates like Dukinfield have the 346/330 every few minutes + other buses but yet ridgehill only has one service the 389 which is a joke as it should be reinstated to run back to Hyde again it made money in the past so why can’t it make money now!!! As it runs a circular to yew tree estate back to ashton its only about a mile if that from yew tree into Hyde bus station! Plus if you work in Hyde or want to visit Hyde you have to go out of your way and set off an hour earlier and go via ashton on a 330 then coming back from Hyde is a 330 to ashton then get a 236 and walk up from Thompson Cross to say the top of springs estate after a day’s work!!! So stagecoach are making it harder for anybody who lives on the hague/springs/arlies estate who had to pay £8 in taxi’s from ashton or Stalybridge/Dukinfield as the service is all about making money to them they ain’t bothered about their customers at all! As if they ain’t making enough money already! And maybe if they reduced their over priced fairs maybe more people would use it! Nearly £3 from ashton to go 1.5 miles it typical rip of stagecoach for you!!!

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