It wouldn’t be fair to describe the forthcoming changes to the Wigan bus network as a rush job, but there’s certainly been a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over the final details. If you’ve been reading GMITA committee papers this year, then you’ll have seen that several contracts in Wigan were up for renewal. South Lancs Travel offered to operate them commercially, but then found that they had to scale back from their original plans.
Initially, commercial Sunday journeys on service 516 between Leigh and Horwich and service 635 between Wigan and Shevington were proposed, to bring services into line with the commercial offerings on Monday to Saturdays, along with Friday/Saturday evening trips on the 635 as well as the 593 between Wigan and Leigh. These haven’t gone ahead (though a tendered Sunday service on service 516 has) but plans to commercialise Monday to Friday services to Platt Bridge, Orrell, Bottling Wood, Ince and Shevington have gone ahead albeit with some route changes and reduced frequencies, with some top-up Saturday operations still tendered by TfGM. The full list of changes looks like this:
|514||Bolton – Middlebrook||Replaced by circular routes 514 and 574, hourly Monday to Saturdays, also operating via Heaton and Gilnow|
|516||Leigh – Horwich||Sunday service introduced, replacing service 615. Some journeys will be run by Strawberry.|
|583||Leigh – Hag Fold||Evening and Sunday service, will now be operated by Maytree.|
|584||Leigh – Crankwood||Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime services, will now be operated by Strawberry.|
|612||Wigan – Wrightington Hospital||Evening services will now be operated by Maytree.|
|614||Wigan – New Springs||Frequency reduced from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes, some journeys renumbered 613 and rerouted via Bottling Wood|
|615||Leigh – Wigan||Sunday journeys withdrawn and replaced by service 516 between Leigh and Horwich, with Arriva service 575 extended from Horwich and Aspull to Wigan|
|624||Worsley Hall – Bottling Wood via Wigan||Changed to run between Bottling Wood and Wigan only. Partly replaced between Wigan and Bottling Wood by bus 613 and rerouted buses 664 and 674 in Worsley Hall.|
|630||Platt Bridge – Orrell via Wigan||Changed to run between Marlborough Avenue and Wigan only. Replaced by bus 633 between Wigan and Windy Arbour/Orrell and the Hindley Local Link in Platt Bridge.|
|633||Wigan – Orrell||New route introduced replacing bus 630 between Windy Arbour and Wigan with some journeys running to/from Orrell.|
|634||Wigan – Belle Green||New route introduced replacing buses 664 and 674 between Belle Green, Ince and Wigan.|
|640, 641||Wigan – Shevington||Timetable and route changes. Some journeys are renumbered 642 or 643.|
|664, 674||Bottling Wood – Belle Green via Wigan and Kitt Green||Changed to run via circular routes between Wigan, Worsley Hall, Kitt Green, Beech Hill and Wigan only. The route in Beech Hill and Worsley Hall is also changed. Some journeys will no longer run via Wigan Infirmary grounds. Replaced by bus 634 and the Hindley Local Link between Belle Green, Ince and Wigan.|
|683, 684||Leigh – Tyldesley||Rerouted to run via Butts Bridge instead of Leigh Infirmary.|
Replacement timetables are not currently (Tuesday evening) available in the TfGM timetable library but check back soon.
Additionally, from 15th May 2011, South Lancs Travel will be withdrawing their Sunday journeys on route 126 between Leigh and the Trafford Centre. The Sunday service was introduced in August last year, but presumably has not proved popular enough.
[Image credit: “South Lancs Wright Meridian 333” by Quackdave on Wikimedia Commons]