Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) rushed to cover bus services – including school services – after their withdrawal over the weekend.

Little Gem announced on Friday it intended to stop the routes across Manchester, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford from Saturday (April 22).

TfGM rushed to cover bus services, in particular school services, on an emergency basis. It is tendering for new contracts on all routes with the intention of starting these new contracts on May 2.

In Trafford, the schools affected include Altrincham College, Altrincham Grammar School for Boys, Altrincham Grammar School for Girls, Blessed Thomas Holford Catholic College, Flixton Girls School, Loreto Grammar School, Sale Grammar School, St Ambrose College, Urmston Grammar School and Wellacre Academy. All of these are covered by alternative operators.

However, other services in the area such as the 44 between Altrincham and Manchester, the 260 around Ashton on Mersey, the 280 between Altrincham and Sale and the 288 between Altrincham and Manchester Airport are not covered by alternative operators at the time of writing.

Alison Chew, the deputy director of bus services at TfGM, said: "I would like to thank the operators who have been able to provide cover to ensure as many people as possible – in particular young people – are not impacted by the withdrawal, which we were only informed about [on Friday].

"Our team has prioritised school services and those where passengers have limited alternatives but unfortunately, due to the lack of notice and availability of other buses and drivers, we have not been able to cover them all. 

"We will continue to work with operators to find a more permanent solution and we will of course keep people informed of any changes. 

"I would encourage passengers who use these services to plan their journeys in advance and check our website and social media channels for the latest information and advice."

For information, go to the TfGM website.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.