BUS services in Bolton are to be axed or reduced under controversial plans which will leave parts of Bolton without a service.

And if given the green light, the move could leave Bromley Cross, The Valley and surrounding areas without any service at certain times including Sundays and in the evenings.

Passenger numbers are being blamed for the reduction in services.

Transport bosses are meeting today to discuss the future of bus services in Bolton and throughout Greater Manchester.

In the most controversial move, bosses are expected to recommend the withdrawal of the 538 circular through Bolton, Bank Top, Egerton, Bromley Cross, operated by Arriva, which could come off the road by April 29 of this year.

The circular service operates evening and Sunday every hour. As a result Valley Leisure, Bank Top, Eagley Way and Bromley Cross would be left without a service during those times.

The proposals has been met by anger in the area.

Bromley Cross ward councillor David Greenhalgh said: "This is terrible news for our area, and and myself and my colleagues will challenge any decision made to remove this crucial bus service.

"The idea that this is done without any consultation where this can be discussed more widely, is a disgrace! Although it seems a done deal, we will do our utmost to overturn it."

Nearest alternatives are said to be along Blackburn Road ­— services 534 to Oldhams Estate and service 1 via Egerton and service 507 along Tonge Moor Road.

Taking to community pages on Facebook, some people have branded the plans as "disgraceful" and said it would mean young people facing a longer walk home if forced to use other services ­— and called for smaller buses to be put on.

Cllr David Chadwick, Bolton Council’s executive member for transport, said: “The 538 service is subsidised and costs annually £48,000.
“It has an average of four passengers, which equates to a passenger cost of £4.75 per trip. So it is a difficult one.”
He added: “I have spoken to residents in the area  and I have asked if they will look again at the services in the area and add an additional journey on for the number 1 bus extending it to 11pm.”

Service 557 will take off journeys throughout the day, leaving the Prestolee estate, Randolph Road,/ Grosvenor Street area of Kearsley and the Primrose Avenue area near Highfield without service at these times.

Nearest alternatives to Farnworth are services 512 and 513 along Stoneclough Road and high frequency service 8 and service 2 along Bolton Road. From Farnworth to Highfield high frequency service 501.

The Diamond operated 575 serving Bolton - Horwich, Old Lord's Estate is withdrawing the 7am Monday to Friday service, the 6.24 am and 6.54 service on Saturday and the 9.35pm and 10.35pm Monday to Saturday 9.02pm, 10.02 pm and 23.02pm from Bolton. And from Horwich the Monday to Saturday 9.02pm and 10.02 pm and 11.02 pm service will be withdrawn.

Officers at Transport for Greater Manchester say they are tendering for the Monday to Saturday late evening journeys.

The 715 from Bolton to Ladybridge, Westhoughton, Aspull and Wigan will have a number of morning services withdrawn ­— the 6.10am Monday to Friday from Westhoughton to Bolton, the 6.47am, 7.39am, 8.04am and the 8.38am service form Westhoughton to Bolton and the 8.10am and 8.40am from Bolton to Westhoughton on Saturday.

The Rosso 480 Bolton-Tonge Moor-Tottington-Bury will be curtailed to start from Tottington from Monday to Friday 6.42am and 7.12am and Saturday 8.36am curtailed to start from Tottington. And the Monday to Friday 8.42am and Saturday 7.46am has been axed. From Bury services Monday to Friday 5.45pm and 6.15pm and Saturday 5.45pm are proposed to be curtailed to finish at Tottington.

A spokesman for Transport for Greater Manchester said: "Under the current system, the majority of Greater Manchester’s bus services are run by commercial operators who decide routes, timetables and set fare levels. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has no say in how these services are run or control over an operator’s decision to withdraw a service.

"However, we do provide funding that subsidises around 20 per cent of Greater Manchester’s bus services, ensuring they are run in the public interest to meet social need and to provide best value for money. We will be working with the operators to try and find solutions that minimise the impact of these service changes on local communities."