More trimming of evening bus services in Cheshire East from June 2013

Previously, it was my understanding that D&G were interested in running Monday to Saturday evening journeys on bus service 38 between Macclesfield and Crewe from the start of June. However, that interest has waned and these are left to Arriva now. D&G were to operate them on a commercial basis and I am left to wonder if Arriva are having to do likewise.

My reasoning for this is that there are significant reductions to the journeys that will be available. What will survive are the 18:20 and 19:20 departures from Macclesfield with an additional 20:30 going as far as Congleton that returns from there at 20:57. From Crewe, we will be left with departures at 18:20 and 19:20 for Macclesfield and a 20:25 one going as far as Sandbach.

The above mean that a once stalwart and dependable service now is even more hobbled than it was after the withdrawal of Sunday evening services. It also has had another consequence: the withdrawal of all Arriva operated journeys on service 14 between Macclesfield and Langley. This makes it just a Monday to Saturday daytime service being provided by High Peak. What had facilitated the provision of Monday to Saturday evening services were the buses used to go between Macclesfield and Crewe that otherwise would have had an unused layover.

One only can surmise from this that bus service cuts are not done yet and the first Sunday in June is set to see the above come into place. For the 38, train services are going to have to act as a partial substitute yet again as they have needed to do at other times. Of course,they do nothing for places like Langley or Gawsworth whose residents don’t have a nearby train station at all. Folk wanting to get from Congleton to and from Macclesfield or vice versa are more fortunate, though.

The evening service reductions between Macclesfield and Crewe have me recalling the times when the 38 was very handy when returning from walking trips to Wales. Also, the same service often got me to Crewe for Caledonian Sleeper train services to the Scottish Highlands too. Those days will be past from the start of June and it makes me wonder if we ever will see an end to austerity or see bus service levels increase again. One only can hope for the best…

7 thoughts on “More trimming of evening bus services in Cheshire East from June 2013

  1. The 47 route is also to go from May. A Cheshire East council representative has told the Knutsford Guardian that passengers can still use the 289 and 37 routes instead. As the 37 route replicates the 289 between High Legh and Altrincham, is more frequent than the 289 and run by a different operator (meaning returns aren’t transferrable) I’ve suggested to them that the 289 should be diverted to Warrington after High Legh once the 47 is withdrawn.

  2. Sometimes, news can come in late and that about the 47 came in after I had scribbled this piece, hence its non-inclusion so thanks for the contribution. Looking at the timetable for the 37 and other services between Altrincham and Warrington, I can see the sense of what the council is saying so I am not sure if your suggestion about changing the 289 will get any hearing.

    One other thing strikes me though, what about a connection to Holmes Chapel? That surely has been lost without any replacement and a Tuesday and Friday service hardly was that regular either.

  3. Holmes Chapel didn’t use to be on the 47 route. It did used to have a link to Knutsford provided by old Tuesday and Friday only Sandbach-Knutsford-Altrincham service which Whitegate Travel were the last operator of and had previously been operated by Bakerbus and Starline Travel – I can’t remember the route number for that. Holmes Chapel also lost it’s Saturday only E69 service to Altrincham but it does retain bus services to other towns. There’s also the village of Lower Peover that’ll be without a scheduled bus. I imagine it will get added to the flexible transport scheme.

    I don’t honestly think they will revise the 289 route but considering:
    * Northwich, Lostock Gralam and Knutsford already have a more frequent, faster rail link to Altrincham.
    * High Legh, Little Bollington and Bowdon already have alternative more frequent services to Altrincham.
    * The fastest way to get to Warrington from the Knutsford area is by train to Altrincham and bus from there.
    * Warrington provides good onward public transport links such as to Wigan and Liverpool which aren’t easily accessible from East Cheshire.
    * The reason for low usage on the current 47 route is the service was very limited and not well timed to meet demand.
    I think it would make sense to do that.

  4. Result : Bakerbus have been awarded a new 38 evening contract. xx35 in both directions until 2335. The 77 has been saved as well.

    • Carl, I recently spotted that good news and was on the point of scribbling an entry on these. Better news is rare these days so it’s worth sharing. Thanks.

  5. well I say that but they don’t have a weekly ticket covering all their routes so a ten trips would be the only interchangeable ticket across both routes.

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