Bury North MP James Frith has written to GM Mayor Andy Burnham calling for a meeting to discuss urgent action needed to improve bus services in Bury.
The request follows a ‘hop on’ surgery held by James on a bus at Bury Interchange this week at which dozens of residents expressed their concerns about cuts to routes which have seen rural communities isolated and towns in the borough cut off from each other.
This comes hot on the heels of Labour’s comprehensive new plan for bus services, which commits annual investment of £1.3 billion to replace real terms cuts to bus services of £645 million per year since 2010, reinstate scrapped routes and create new ones. Funded by the Vehicle Excise Duty.
Labour has also pledged to give local authorities the power to regulate bus services (franchising), which is an issue currently being debated by GM leaders.
“While the debate rages on about the future management of bus services across Greater Manchester, the service we have right now continues to suffer. Austerity has wiped out billions in funding which has seen vital connections disappear and bus use drop by 10% as a result.
“Thousands of local people rely on buses to get to school, get to work and to access retail and leisure opportunities, but it is getting harder to travel because local routes have suffered so badly. I welcome efforts by operators like Rosso to invest in some routes and improve services, but we need a real focus at GM and national level to ensure we get investment and improvements across all communities.
“I hope the Mayor will meet with me soon so we can discuss this urgent issue and agree a way forward to deliver better buses for Bury.”