Cuts to local bus services will go ahead


The council's cabinet today (Tuesday, 7th November) approved cuts to the borough's subsidised buses to achieve savings of just over £1m.

The cuts and changes to local services will go ahead as follows:

88 – Altrincham – Wilmslow – Knutsford

This will now be incorporated into route E with the 27 Macclesfield to Knutsford service.

This will see the service reduced to an hourly service and extended to go to Macclesfield (would be once every two hours as per the present 27 service) and alternately to Northwich.

The first service of the day from Knutsford to Altrincham will be retimed to allow passengers to arrive into Altrincham for 08:20am; the first bus of the day will arrive in Altrincham for 07:10 and the last bus of the day will leave Macclesfield at 17:45.

200 - Wilmslow – Manchester Airport

Service withdrawn with an hourly railway service from Styal Railway Station introduced in May 2018.

130 - Macclesfield to Wilmslow to Manchester

Sunday services withdrawn.

The council had intended to seek savings of £1.57m but following residents' feedback to their public consultation it agreed to reduce the amount of money it intended to save by around £500,000 - meaning more services will be subsidised than originally planned.

The council went out to public consultation earlier this year to seek the views of residents on the possible withdrawal of evening and weekend services and the reorganisation of daytime services.

In total, 3,959 responses to the consultation were received. The council took into account a number of factors before arriving at its final network of supported services.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communication, said: "We face challenging financial constraints and we recognise that some of our residents will be affected by a reduction in services.

"We have had to make some tough decisions but we feel that we have met many of the concerns expressed in the consultation feedback by re-configuring some routes and retaining the subsidy on routes where the removal of services would have resulted in hardship.

"I want to thank all those people who took the trouble to contribute to the consultation and we would like to see residents making greater use of our buses, where practicable, so that car dependency across the borough is reduced."

Operators are to be invited to provide costs for evening services on some key routes and the council will award tenders, which offer best value, taking in duration of route-working through the day and evening.

The council will no longer support Sunday bus services unless they are totally self-sustaining.

Proposed changes to the borough's 'Little Bus' service will be delayed to ensure that the service is not over-subscribed.

Although savings are estimated at more than £1m – rather than the £1.57m originally planned – an accurate financial position will not be known until the tendering and procurement process has completed.

Full details of routes and adapted services can be found online.

88 Bus Service, Bus Services


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Kate Bennett
Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 8:40 pm
To have received 3,959 responses was phenomenal.....did the majority say ‘please reduce our services’?
You won’t see residents making better use of the buses once the services are reduced!
Dave Cash
Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 11:27 pm
When will these changes be implemented?

Before then, each pick up point needs a London-style digital sign installed, giving the waiting time for next bus, given traffic delays & gaps in bus service.
Julie Smith
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 4:28 pm
So everything proposed before they carried out the 'consultation ' has been approved despite nearly 4000 responses? Another disgraceful waste of OUR money CEC! I can't say I'm in the least bit surprised after all they have to find the money to fund double salaries from somewhere don't they?
Russell Young
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 8:07 am
Surely a better way to save £1m would be an across the board pay cut for all CEC councillors (reflecting their worth) and keeping the subsidised bus services (reflecting their worth).
Richard Nolan
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 5:02 pm
Have U seen it in the movie's ,where people who live
On Their own collapse in their Home's from starvation,
Because the bus they used too catch to the shop's has
Been scrapped, nobody knows they have collapsed
they only know they used too see them on the bus
But there is no longer a bus ,
When this particular person was eventually found in
The home alone ,it was discovered there were pet's
In the house as Well but they were not HUNGRY Oh
No They were Not HUNGRY At all.
Gemma Evans
Friday 10th November 2017 at 10:33 am
The changes are proposed to take place on 1st April 2018.

Routes including the 27, 88, 130 (Sunday and Bank Holiday) and 200 services are on contracts which expire in October 2021. Are Cheshire East council compensating the operators for terminating existing contracts early and if so how much will this cost?

Styal is supposed to be getting an hourly train service to Manchester Airport and Wilmslow at the May 2018 timetable change. Wouldn't it be common sense to keep the 200 service running until the day before the train service is enhanced?

Cheshire East keep making misleading claims about the 27 service. It is currently operated on a 90 to 120 minute frequency, depending on the time of day. The new 'route E' will see gaps of almost 3 hours at times, which means the next Knutsford bound bus will be almost 2 hours after afternoon visiting hours at Macclesfield Hospital end, instead of 10 minutes after. Numerous people complained about this but Cheshire East came up with some misinformation which they used to dismiss the genuine concerns. There's a very simple solution to this problem - don't take a bus off 'route E' to operate a school service which consequently makes the timetable inconsistent and leaves long gaps between services.