Send us news by text, start your message Knutsford News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Firm deals another blow to bus users in Knutsford
BUS users in Knutsford and the surrounding villages have been hit with another public transport blow after a bus firm decided to withdraw a popular service to Macclesfield.
Centrebus – the company operating the 27 service between the two towns via Chelford and Lower Peover – announced this week it was to scrap the service from April 3.
The news comes just weeks after the firm changed the timetable, which will mean a commuter service will no longer serve Lower Peover, as well as missing out a large part of Knutsford.
The route is not only used by workers and school children, but also by relatives visiting loved ones in Macclesfield and District Hospital.
A note on Cheshire East Council’s website said: “High Peak have withdrawn their 27 registration from April 3, 2013. Cheshire East Transport are looking at various options to replace the 27 service including Community Transport and are in contact with a number of alternative operators.”
David Shelley, from Centrebus, told the Guardian the service was not ‘economically viable’.
“We have carried out a further review in the light of the comments received and concluded that the service is not economic to continue,” he said.
The firm decided in August 2012 to operate the service without the council subsidy, but it has now done a U-turn on running the service altogether.
Clr David Topping, cabinet member in charge of the environment, said: “Cheshire East Council is disappointed that High Peak has de- registered the 27 service.
“The service is not under contract to the council, and we acknowledge that the company has decided there are not enough passengers to make the service commercially viable.
“However, we are in continuing discussions with other providers to see if they can step in to provide the service commercially, or whether some element of subsidy is required.
“The current registration extends to April 3, so passengers can be reassured the service will operate in its current form until then.
“We will ensure that people are not left without a service, if necessary by tendering for an appropriate provider. Any transition to a new provider will be as seamless as possible.
“We would ask passengers to be patient while we explore all the options available to the council, which we are working toward resolving as quickly as we can.”
East Cheshire NHS Trust said it was looking into the matter.