BOTH ends of Atherton town centre are to be served by bus routes, transport bosses have announced.

The new route has been introduced to ensure people have “the best possible access to the centre”.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Wigan Council will write to residents and businesses this month with a map of the new town centre route and further information.

Following the changes, busway services will travel from Tyldesley Road along Market Street, with a drop-off bus stop in the heart of the shopping centre.

Services will continue along Market Street before turning right up Wigan Road and on to Mealhouse Lane.

Passengers will be able to board and get off buses at the existing stop on Bag Lane.

There is also a further stop along Mealhouse Lane for both boarding and alighting services.

The route has been finalised following discussions with local residents, town centre businesses, councillors and bus operators.

Cllr Mark Aldred, who represents Atherton and is vice-chairman of the TfGM committee which oversees buses, said: “Looking at the new route for the busway through Atherton, you can really get a feel for the benefits the service will have for local residents and businesses.

“When the service is launched next year, it will give direct access to shopping, leisure and work right across the centre.

“There will be a reliable, high quality bus service at least every 15 minutes Monday to Saturday.

“I’m pleased to see TfGM responding so positively to the wishes of local people.”

The busway will open in 2015, when a high frequency bus service will connect Leigh, Tyldesley, Atherton and Salford with Manchester city centre and will offer more consistent journey times, along with more punctual services.

TfGM will announce the busway operator and further service details later this year following a bidding process.

The 582 service currently links Atherton to Bolton town centre.