Edgworth residents celebrate axed bus service campaign victory
A CAMPAIGN to restore a crucial bus link has won a major battle now a new service has been announced.
Edgworth faced being cut off from Bolton when Arriva announced its decision to end its 537 at Bromley Cross from late October onwards.
Arriva cited escalating operating costs as the reason for the closure, apologising for the changes but said it could not run an unsupported service.
Blackburn with Darwen Council intervened to ensure a service from Darwen would connect Edgworth people to the 537 line in Bromley Cross — but passengers still needed to change to get into Bolton.
Travel Assist has now announced it will start a new service between Darwen and Bolton, via Edgworth, in the new year, to run on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
It will also introduce a direct link to Bury, which will run on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry, who has spearheaded a campaign to see the 537 route restored, was delighted to to confirm the new service.
He said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped secure this new service for the village.
“Whether you signed the petition, filled in the survey, put up a poster of helped deliver leaflets — it was all worth it.
“It’s really important that Edgworth has a decent bus service and it’s a vital lifeline for the communities of Edgworth, Chapeltown, Turton and surrounding rural areas.”
The introduction of the latest route comes after a poster campaign, a petition signed by 700 people and a survey of the village.
Travel Assist say two jobs will be created by the new service, which will run four times a day, from about 9.45am to 6pm.
Director Jim Coulthard said: “Edgworth is geographically challenged and it is far too sweeping to say that most people who live there can drive.
“Transport is central to all communities and we look at new services on the basis of need and jobs.
“Clearly in Edgworth there is a need and, even though the service starts in Darwen, this ha been introduced primarily for Edgworth people.”
The new TA01 to Bolton service will be launched on January 6, in the form of a 16-seat wheelchair-accessible minibus, with the Bury route starting on January 8.
Public meetings to discuss the new route will take place at the Barlow Institute on Thursday January 9 at 2pm and 7.30pm.
Comments are closed on this article.