A Tameside bus company is campaigning to “Save the 397” direct bus route between Glossop, Hadfield and Hyde. Derbyshire County Council is proposing to withdraw subsidy for the hourly Monday to Saturday daytime service as part of a proposed £700,000 annual saving from the county’s subsidised bus budget. The current operator however, Speedwellbus, considers the plans to be “poorly thought out” and has proposed alternative savings that it claims would allow the 397 to survive.
It has taken the unusual step of creating a website to support its aim, and is asking passengers and residents to email Derbyshire County Council to show their support. The alternative scheme proposed is to withdraw Glossop local service 393. Part of this route would be covered by a rerouted local service 390, which would also be reduced in frequency from 30-minutes to hourly. The other section of the 393 route would be served by rerouting service 397 to serve Padfield. Speedwell claim that this will result in only a couple of small stretches of road unserved by buses, and that the council’s own plans rely on Stagecoach making alterations to a commercial service that they may not be willing to make – or not without subsidy at least.
The full list of Derbyshire’s proposals (PDF format) also suggest that the twice daily service 67 between Tideswell and Manchester via New Mills, Marple, Stockport and Levenshulme will be withdrawn. Alternative services exist in the form of the Transpeak coach service between Nottingham and Manchester via Buxton.
Glossop has always been a rather remote outpost of Derbyshire, historically looking towards Manchester in transport terms, and we detect a certain amount of animosity towards County Hall in faraway Matlock. Having said that, we’re not sure if the 397 is as vital a lifeline as the bus operator says it is – as Derbyshire County Council points out, there are alternative services between Glossop and Hyde. Catch this bus on a regular basis? Any thoughts on the matter? Leave us a comment below.
[Image credit: “War memorial and Town Hall roof Glossop Derbyshire England” by Sir Garlichad on Flickr]