D&G bus - bus service review 2024

Rural bus services around Nantwich could be cut under new plans unveiled by Cheshire East Council.

But a direct service from the town to Leighton Hospital looks set to be reinstated if the proposals go ahead.

Cheshire East has opened a new public consultation for its bus service review for 2024.

Rural areas to be hit most include Bunbury, Bulkeley, Lightwood Green and Burleydam.

The proposal for Nantwich rural services includes withdrawing the number 70 service between Nantwich and Tiverton

Lightwood Green and Burleydam would no longer be served on the 72 and 73 services.

But the 72 and 73 would be retained and improved on the busiest sections between Nantwich and Wrenbury and Nantwich and Audlem with many journeys extended via Middlewich Road to Leighton Hospital.

The aim is to reduce the length of route so it could provide a direct service between Nantwich and Leighton Hospital.

It comes after Nantwich residents called for direct access to Leighton Hospital.

Currently passengers have to travel to Crewe and change there to get to the hospital.

The plan for  Bulkeley, Bunbury, Lightwood Green and Burleydam is to enhance the flexible transport offer and provide transport in a different way.

There are no route changes proposed for bus service 71, Nantwich – Wrenbury.

Journeys operating at school times would remain unaltered to support access to education.

The proposed cuts to rural routes are due to low user numbers and poor value for money, says the authority.

rural bus route change
Proposed rural bus route changes – image by Cheshire East Council

The bus network in Cheshire East consists of 37 services, of which 21 are subsidised by the council.

The last bus service review was back in 2017.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith, chair of Cheshire East Council’s highways and transport committee, said: “An incredible amount has changed since we last had a full review of our borough’s bus services.

“With a mix of urban and rural communities, ensuring we have the right offer for our residents is extremely important to us.

“There is no proposal to reduce the council’s supported bus budget, but given the financial constraints on the council, it is more important than ever to ensure we maximise the value from our spending on local bus services.

“To provide an efficient and well-run service, we need to hear what residents have to say.”

Cllr Lata Anderson, Cheshire East Council’s public transport member champion, said: “We consider it vital that we keep residents living in Cheshire East connected – especially people in rural communities – for getting to work and amenities such as hospitals, but these are certainly not our only considerations.

“With the government committing to a nationwide £2 adult fare cap until at least the end of the year, this is a great time to be encouraging people to get out and use our local transport services.”

The bus service review consultation will remain open for eight weeks until Wednesday 3 July.

Hard copies of the consultation material will also be available in libraries and customer contact centres.

One Comment

  1. It’s important people respond to the consultation to say the direct service from Nantwich to Leighton Hospital is needed. This is something local councillors, especially Anna Burton, have been pressing for. But redients of Nantwich should make it clear it’s a route that is important to them.

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