New idea to save village bus service

Stagecoach bus
Stagecoach bus
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Campaigners worried about a bus service cut are calling on company bosses to take up their new timetable suggestion.

Communities in Higher Walton and Hoghton want Stagecoach to “think more laterally” about options after announcing the 150/151 service will be scrapped on February 5 due to passenger numbers.

Commuters have been advised to catch the 113 instead, which will be rerouted to serve Higher Walton. But users are worried this takes in Wigan and will suffer from delays.

Following a packed public meeting last Monday, residents came up with a suggestion for also slightly re-routing the 125, which regularly runs in 10 and 15 minute intervals in Bamber Bridge.

A small committee will meet with County Highways chief Councillor John Fillis on Thursday to discuss taking the idea further.

Les Parker, who will be at the meeting, said: “The bus company is not doing the best with the assets it has. This suggestion involves a minor alteration to some 125 services that would mean the reinstatement of a 30 minute service to Higher Walton and Hoghton, and it would also go back to Bamber Bridge, so no one misses out. The only additional cost is a bit of fuel. I don’t know why Stagecoach haven’t thought about this.”

Coun Fillis said: “I am more than happy to work with local residents, the bus company and schools. I believe there are options available and we can move forward.”

Stagecoach said it was committed to providing “the best possible transport options” and the altered 113 morning journey will involve operating a bigger bus and different timetables to assist commuters.