Dear Decision Makers
I write on behalf of the bus community across Bolton and Salford who are due to be affected by the recent decision by First Manchester and TfGM to bring an end to the Night Bus services between Manchester and Bolton.
I believe this decision is absolutely the wrong move and will adversely affect thousands of people across the area. I am writing to request a postponement of the service withdrawal until a full consultation with stakeholders has taken place and an alternative service has been agreed upon.
The impact cutting these services will have on the local community will be profound and put thousands of public transport users at risk. I do not believe any of these issues have been discussed prior to this decision taking place and am astonished that this decision has been taken without any consultation whatsoever with public transport users.
Issues identified include:
- No Public transport after 11:55pm - this will reduce the amount of time people from Bolton and Salford can spend within the city centre without having to pay large amounts of money for a taxi home. I believe this will have an adverse affect on the City Centre economy.
- The LGBT+ communities within Bolton and Salford have few places in their local areas to spend time socialising with others safely. More often than not our LGBT+ communities travel to the bustling Manchester Gay Village and use the Night Bus to return home. Removal of the Night Bus service will effectively cut the community off from the wider LGBT+ community across Greater Manchester and limit their options for socialising in a safe environment.
- Drink driving incidents may rise with people choosing to drive to and from Manchester due to the lack of affordable transportation options after midnight.
- Many individuals may decide to attempt to walk home from a night out - this puts these people in serious risk of crime and accidents which I believe will rise as a direct result of having no affordable transport options.
- Many city centre workers will now find they cannot afford to work within Manchester. Hundreds of bar, nightclub, takeaway, hotel, and security staff etc who rely on the Night Bus to get them home from (or in many cases to) work will now have no way to travel. A bar-worker may earn around £50 for an evening shift but have to fork out almost the same amount for their journey home in a taxi. The decision to remove the night bus will therefore affect the night time economy of Manchester and the surrounding area and see unemployment rise.
These are just a few of the issues identified and our petition https://www.change.
There are several alternatives that I do not believe have been explored and I would like to request a meeting with all stakeholders to look at the issue in depth and come to an amicable solution.
I look forward to your favourable response
Chairman, Bolton Liberal Democrats