A “LIFELINE” bus service is being scrapped, leaving elderly residents “stranded and isolated”.

The 480 bus, which runs from Bury to Bolton via Tottington Road, is to be re-routed after Rossendale-based operator Rosso decided it was no longer profitable.

It means, from July 28, residents will be left without a regular bus service along Tottington Road to Harwood, Bolton or Bury.

Cllr Stuart Haslam, a member of the Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) committee, has urged people to protest against the decision, which he says will cause “immense hardship”.

He has delivered scores of letters to households across Bolton asking people to contact transport bosses and register their opposition.

Cllr Haslam said: “I’m very concerned about the impact this will have on the elderly people who regularly use this service.

“It’s a lifeline. It’s a real social service, and without it people won’t be able to travel to Harwood to get to the shops, the chemist or the post office.

"I’m going to exert every ounce of pressure I can on the committee to find an alternative bus to run.”

From July 28, the 480 will only travel from Bury to Walves, before returning via Ramsbottom Road and Bolton Road via Greenmount to Bury Interchange.

The service, which currently runs eight buses a day, receives public funding from TFGM, but Cllr Haslam said there is a chance this could be re-allocated.

Rosso have refused to comment.

A spokesman for Transport for Greater Manchester said that residents can use the Bury Rural Local Link as an alternative, but residents have to book this service in advance.

He said: “The changes are a commercial decision taken by Rosso, who are free to determine the route and times of their services.

“TfGM currently provides public subsidy for the 480 service to operate via Affetside and is reviewing this provision in the light of the commercial change.”

Cllr Haslam is urging residents to email customer.relations@tfgm.com if the change affects them, or call him on 01204 385096.