CONCERNED residents in Manchester are campaigning to save ‘vital’ 378 bus route between Stockport and Wilmslow with it set to be axed in April.
A petition, set up to challenge the decision made by Cheshire East Council and Stagecoach in Manchester, has already gathered over 600 signatures to prevent the 378 bus route terminating at Grove Lane instead of carrying on to Wilmslow.
The Grove Lane to Wilmslow section of the route is set to be axed on 23 April 2017.
A spokesman for Stagecoach Manchester said: “Falling passenger numbers on the 378 service means it has become no longer sustainable for us to continue to run this service on the section of the route between Grove Lane, Stockport and Wilmslow.
“We apologise to our customers who are affected by this change.”
Stagecoach have provided Cheshire East Council with information about the bus route who will decide whether they can support a replacement service for the section of the route set to be axed.
Cutting part of the bus route will impact on residents relying on the service travelling to work, school, and will leave ‘isolated’ elderly and disabled residents housebound, according to the petition.
Petitioners called the bus route ‘a lifeline’ and the change in route ‘completely unacceptable’.
Here is some reaction to the news of the 378 bus service route being withdrawn:
George Osborne What will you be doing to stop the 378 bus being scraped ?@George_Osborne
— Peter Baker ? (@mrscotchegg) March 17, 2017
— Louise Summerfield (@LAESummerfield) March 17, 2017
— Aidan O'Rourke ?️ [Eyewitness] (@AidanEyewitness) March 21, 2017
Office Manager Janet Taylor, 56, who started the petition online and has been handing out hard copies to residents who will be affected, said: “The problem is that people who have concessionary fares, like the kids that use it to go to school or the pensioners, can’t use their concessionary fares because that stop is outside of Cheshire.
“So they’d have to get a bus there and then get on and pay full fare to go to Stockport or to go to school. It is just so wrong.”
Taylor states she was shocked after finding out ‘by accident’ that the service would be terminated after calling up Cheshire East Council to chase up work due to be carried out on a bus stop.
After contacting George Osborne, Conservative MP for Tatton, Taylor added she has been informed Osborne will be in touch with the Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council to discuss residents’ complaints.
“Its a disgrace. Think about the elderly, school children and lots of working people.”
– Worried resident who signed the petition, Fay Maylett, Wilmslow
A Cheshire East Council spokesman said: “Cheshire East provides supported services where there are major gaps in commercial bus networks across the borough.”
“Currently, there are severe pressures on the limited resources available for local bus support. The council will carefully consider the impact of the stopping of this service in accordance with the council’s policies on local bus support.”
The 378 route is one of twenty bus services across Greater Manchester recently announced to be axed, part-suspended or have changes to their routes.
Cheshire East Council are currently gathering information on the 378 bus service and is set to make a further statement about its future.
What do you think about the changes to bus services in Greater Manchester? Get in touch in the comments section and let us know!