FIRST Manchester is to withdraw its 24 service connecting Royton with Manchester and Rochdale.
And the company has announced timetable changes to other services, all taking effect from Monday, September 2.
Defending its decision to axe the 24 – which is a Monday to Friday peak only service – First Bus say an average of just 6.55 passengers board between Rochdale and Royton on the AM journeys.
Other changes see the 181 (Rochdale – Shaw – Royton – Manchester service) on Monday to Saturday day-time reduced from every 30 minutes to hourly.
The weekday peak service will still operate every 30 minutes.
Service 181 will combine with service 182 to provide a 20 minute off peak daytime service between Chadderton and Manchester.
The 182 (Rochdale – Shaw – Royton – Manchester) morning peak journeys which currently extend from Rochdale at 0526 and Milnrow at 0604, 0633, 0658 and 0723 will be revised and replaced by journeys (from Milnrow only) at 0559, 0623 and 0653.
The following Saturday early morning journeys will be revised:
• 0550 & 0650 Manchester – Shaw – replaced by one journey at 0620.
• 0551 Shaw – Manchester withdrawn. There are alternative journeys within 30 minutes.
The journeys at 0514 and 0550 were introduced in April 2018 as part of a trial to stimulate early morning usage. On average these journeys are only carrying five passengers per trip.
For the changes to services 181 and 182, there are alternative journeys on service 58 from Rochdale to Milnrow and Shaw at 0600 and 0700.
Metrolink also provides an option for passengers travelling between Manchester and Shaw.