Bus bombshell – bus services face massive cuts or might be axed altogether

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader councillor Howard Sykes MBE has warned of uncertainty facing Oldham and Manchester bus services after a report from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) “raised more questions” about the future of many services across Oldham and Manchester. The report (Bus Network Review) was considered on Friday 12 August.

Many Oldham services – including the 180, 81, 181, 182, X84, 59, the 350 and the 425 – were due to see a reduction in services, with many set to be axed completely. TfGM have placed many of the affected routes out for tender starting in late October.

Councillor Sykes said, “With the cost-of-living crisis raging, more and more people will be looking at their public transport options to try to keep costs down. TfGM have put some of these services out for tender, but what happens if the price is too high, or a deal cannot be secured before the end of October? This announcement raises more questions than it answers for the future of our bus services.”

Howard Sykes

Service providers have been braced for cuts after the government announced that Covid recovery funding would end in October.

Councillor Sykes said, “Clearly the government funding hasn’t gone far enough for the public transport sector to fully recover. We will need to see government backing to avoid running costs being passed on to commuters. We still don’t know what the future will look like for many of the services that have been marked for cuts. Will we see reduced evening services or cuts to weekend journeys? That would be unwelcome news for people who depend on such buses.”

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