Tatton MP Esther McVey is calling on local residents to make their voices heard and let Cheshire East Council know if they want to keep the subsidised bus services.
Esther McVey met with Cynthia Samson, Chair of Handforth Parish Council, and local campaigner Julie Smith on Monday, 31st July, to discuss the lack of buses in Handforth.
Our local MP said "There used to be one the 378 which went from Stockport to Wilmslow but no longer and that bus has been a lifeline for many people, whether it's getting to school, getting to work, going to the local village, picking up prescriptions.
"Many people now feel isolated that they don't have a bus."
The Stagecoach 378 service stopped operating in Cheshire East on April 23rd and now terminates at Grove Lane on the Stockport border.
D & G Bus launched a new commercial 378 service on April 24th, to partially replace the Stagecoach service, running from Wilmslow's Bank Square, through Lacey Green and Handforth to Handforth Dean Retail Park - making it the first service to run directly to and from the retail park and Wilmslow. However, it was axed after a 12 week trial period. The last day of operation was Friday 14th July.
Speaking at the time Chris Almond, bus network manager for D & G Bus, said "We've decided to cancel the service as not enough passengers are using it and it isn't making enough money to cover its costs."
Cheshire East Council has recently consulted local residents regarding their proposals to cut their subsidised bus services in order to save more than £1.5m - which represents a 43% saving on the current annual supported bus service budget.
The proposed changes to local services include reducing the 88 Knutsford to Wilmslow to Altrincham bus from a half hourly to an hourly service, with all journeys serving Morley Green (currently Morley Green is served every hour rather than half hourly like Bank Square and Wilmslow Rail Station).
Additionally the Council is proposing to cut support for the 200 service from Wilmslow to Manchester Airport which passes through Styal.
The Council is also proposing to discontinue running buses on evenings and Sundays, as these are the least used of the subsidised services. This would result in cutting support for the Sunday 130 service which travels Macclesfield to Alderley Edge, Wilmslow and Manchester. The 130 weekday daytime services are provided commercially so they have not been considered as part of the Supported Bus Service Review.
Esther McVey said "The bus consultation came to an end on the 26th of July but people have contacted me to say they weren't aware of it and others to say it was a complicated consultation process so my advise is writing to Cheshire East to make sure your voice is heard."
She added "So what we got to do is make sure Cheshire East really see the value in subsidised routes and make sure this local community has their bus back."
"For more information on this issue and to raise any concerns about anything that is affecting you and your community please get in touch with me."