BUS users are demanding immediate improvements to their service.

Residents in Great Lever say they are already fed up with the number of buses that have been cancelled this year.

It comes after complaints that more than 10 571 and 572 buses — the Great Lever circular service —were cancelled in one day on at least two occasions during the run-up to Christmas.

And Cllr Sue Haworth, who represents the Harper Green ward, says that this month there have been two days when at least 16 journeys of the 571 and 572 buses have been axed.

Residents informed her of the cancellations after notices were put up in the area advising that several journeys were not going to run on two separate occasions.

She said: “Residents are complaining about an unreliable First Bus service in Great Lever.

"Whilst some posters are going up at the Interchange detailing the buses that will not run on some days this does not help those waiting for buses at the stops on the bus routes in Great Lever.

"Residents are not being told why the buses are missing from the time table."

She continued: “On one occasion so many people piled on to the bus when it came to the interchange that the bus could not pick up passengers on the next stops leaving Bolton town centre.”

Cllr Haworth has been liaising with residents and Great Lever transport campaigner Preva Crossley over the issue.

One of the residents to have contacted Cllr Haworth to express his dissatisfaction is George Yates of Glenside Drive.

Cllr Haworth said: “Mr Yates has said he is so fed up about arriving at his nearby bus stop in Rishton Lane only to find that the bus does not turn up that he has taken to walking down to Bradford Road where there are a few more buses to catch.

"However this is no answer really if the weather is bad and also because Bradford Road is very busy and not easy to cross for an elderly man like him."

And Cllr Haworth adds that Great Lever residents are impatient for the shake-up of public transport promised by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

She said: “Mr Yates rang me, having seen Andy Burnham give an interview on TV.

"I advised Mr Yates that it may take a couple of years for the mayor to be able to implement the big improvements that he is planning for bus services in Greater Manchester."

Mr Yates said: "We need Andy Burnham to do what he is saying so we can get a better bus service in Great Lever."

A spokesman for First Manchester said: “We’re sorry to hear that some customers have reported complaints about the reliability of the 571 and 572 services over the last month.

"We operated 96 per cent of all services throughout November and December, but we did have some staff sickness and traffic congestion, which affected some of the services. Our services were majorly affected on 21st and 22nd December, due to gridlocked traffic in Bolton town centre, so this may have had an impact on customers of the 571 and 572 services.”