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Councillors angry over bus service being axed
12:56pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
ANGRY councillors have hit out at a bus company for axing what they say is a vital route through Sale and Altrincham.
St Mary’s ward Conservative councillors Rob Chilton and Dan Bunting feel Arriva’s decision to withdraw the 19A service and some of the peak-time 16 services at the end of October will have a major impact on commuters in Sale West and beyond.
The 19A route links Altrincham and Sale while the 16 service goes from Manchester city centre and through Trafford.
Cllr Chilton said: “There are still services and they are still going to run but my concern is there are no alternatives.
“If you do not have a car and the bus is late, then you are stuck.
“It is not just our area but it will affect a lot of other areas.
“It is not welcome so they should look very closely at it and I have raised this with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).
“Given Sale West is relatively isolated from other forms of public transport, these changes would not be beneficial to residents.”
The route includes a special school for children with learning difficulties, Manor High School, and Cllr Chilton is concerned about the impact this could have upon youngsters at the school.
Cllr Bunting believes TfGM should be doing more to protect bus routes to keep a vital public service running.
He said: “Reducing the service yet further is completely unacceptable – if anything TfGM and commercial operators need to look for sustainable ways to improve service in this area, not reduce that which is already there.”
A spokesman for Arriva said the 19 service continues to run along the exact same route as the 19A – extended through to Manchester Airport – every 15 minutes, providing a frequent service and maintaining transport links.
The spokesman added: “The 19A service was introduced last year to complement the 19 service, providing extra journeys between Altrincham and Sale.
“Unfortunately, after a year in operation, it has become apparent that the number of customers using the 19A is not sufficient to allow the service to continue and it will be withdrawn on October 28.
“The 19 service remains unchanged and provides frequent links between Altrincham, Sale and Manchester Airport. “It has also become necessary to change the 16 service timetable in peak times to allow the service to operate in a more efficient way.
The daytime frequency remains the same. We apologise to our customers who may be affected by these changes.”
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