First Manchester have confirmed that, subject to approval by the Traffic Commissioner, the 519/520 buses could begin to travel back into Bolton Town Centre via the previous 571/572 Trinity street route within a matter of weeks.
Dwayne Wells, Customer Services Manager, First Manchester, confirmed in a conversation with myself that pressure from residents had prompted the company to take the decision of reintroducing the old route, ensuring that hundreds of commuters – including the disabled and elderly – can easily access the Train Station and local supermarkets.
I have been working tirelessly with residents of both Harper Green and Great Lever over the past few months to get local services reinstated. The decision by First Manchester to return the 519/520 to the original route is a real testament to what can be achieved when communities come together.
However, whilst it is fantastic news that First have seen sense to listen to local residents with regards to the 519/520, we still need to keep pressure on the company to ensure the even more vital 68 service, is reinstated between Bolton and Farnworth.
In a recent article in The Bolton News, it was revealed that many commuters could face journey times of up to 90 minutes to reach the recently announced Salford ‘super-hospital’ as a result of changes to the 68 route, as well as many elderly and disabled residents on Bradford Road and Plodder Lane being left with no public transport access to Farnworth or Bolton.
I has pressed First Manchester for information regarding the 68 service but is yet to return any positive news from the company. Hopefully with continued pressure by residents we will see some news similar to that for the 519/520.
Help us put more pressure of First Manchester and Transport for Greater Manchester by signing the petition available here.