Improving Bolton’s bus services will be a “challenge”, that authorities at regional level must set themselves to meet, an MP says.

This comes after a Friends of the Earth report found that the borough had lost nearly a third of its bus service frequency since 2013.

Transport authorities have said that the newly launched Bee Network will help to reverse this decline, but Bolton West MP Chris Green says this will be a “challenge” for the region’s leaders.

Mr Green said: “I’m concerned about the reduction in the number of bus services on our routes, the frequency of our services and the ability to get into and out of town on a Sunday.

“The government has rolled out the £2 maximum bus fare right across the country and Andy Burnham has followed their lead in doing that in Greater Manchester.

The Bolton News: Andy Burnham with a Bee Network busAndy Burnham with a Bee Network bus (Image: Newsquest)

“I hope the government will continue to invest in our bus services.

“So I think for Andy Burnham is if he’s going to take on these powers as Mayor of Greater Manchester then the challenge is that he’s got to meet people’s expectations in improving those services.”

Along with Wigan, Bolton was one of the first borough’s where the new Bee Network was launched.

Mr Burnham visited the University of Bolton in September of last year to speak on the issue where he admitted that the launch had experienced some “teething problems” that autumn.

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But addressing the public meeting he said that this came after the biggest shake up to bus services for 40 years and that public control over buses still represented a big step forward.

Now, Transport for Greater Manchester says that it is making further investments to its network not just in Bolton but all over the city region.

Transport bosses hope that this will reverse the decline raised by Friends of the Earth in their report.

Transport for Greater Manchester director of bus Stephen Rhodes said: “We are investing heavily in local bus services and have ambitious plans to grow bus use across Greater Manchester by working with operators to ensure customers get a consistently good service and delivering improvements to our buses, bus stops, customer information and routes and services to make journeys better across Greater Manchester.”