RESIDENTS are celebrating after transport chiefs confirmed a bus that goes to Royal Bolton Hospital will now stop near their homes.

The 501 service from Johnson Fold to Farnworth bus station will pick up passengers on Bolton Road near Gladstone Road from Sunday, January 28.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and First Bus have agreed the bus will use the existing stop after being approached by Cllr Jean Gillies on behalf of Moses Gate residents.

Under the current timetable Moses Gate residents have to catch a number 8 or 32 bus to get to the centre of Farnworth, then cross King Street to get to the station.

The news has been particularly welcomed by those who regularly need to visit the hospital for check-ups and appointments.

Lewis Sharrocks, who is disabled and has a number of health problems, hailed the announcement as ‘marvellous news’.

Mr Sharrocks, from Bolton Road, said: “It used to just drive past us, but now it will be stopping and picking us up and people will be able to get to the hospital.

“For a lot of older people, and people who have got health problems, getting to the hospital is an urgent thing. It’s a difficult journey for a lot of people.

“It’s a very, very good thing what they have done considering the bus just drove past every day. Everyone is chuffed to bits, as you can imagine.”

The stop is on the route inbound to Farnworth only – where the service terminates.

Some journeys then return using the 501 route to the hospital, but approximately every third journey changes to a 68 and heads to intu Trafford Centre.

However Mr Sharrocks, aged 59, said the new timetable would be a huge boost for him personally.

He said: “It’s important to me because I have also got a false knee, so I have to have that checked up on regularly. I’m also a diabetic and I can’t walk far and have to use a stick.”

And he praised Cllr Gillies for helping to bring the change about.

He said: “This is absolutely essential for all the people of Moses Gate.What Jean has done, in effect, is get about 10,000 people access to the hospital. It’s wonderful. I’m really impressed.”