Cheshire East Council has been reinstated a bus service for residents after several stops were previously axed from the route.
The 42 service runs between Crewe and Congleton via Leighton Hospital, Middlewich and Holmes Chapel. It operates nine services a day in each direction, Monday to Friday, and six on Saturdays.
The service was run by operator D&G Bus, had axed stops in Elm Road, King Street and Centurion Way, Middlewich, due to persistent delays on the route due to heavy traffic.
However, following discussions involving local councillors and the council’s wholly-owned company Transport Service Solutions – and the impact of reduced traffic due to Covid-19 – the 42 bus will again make these stops in Middlewich from Monday 19 October.
Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, who has responsibility for strategic transport, said:
This is great news for Middlewich residents and especially those who might rely on this service to access health care, go shopping, or simply to get out and about for their general health and wellbeing.
I would like to thank our transport team, Transport Service Solutions, for their work to find a solution at a time of significant workload due to Covid-19.
With reduced levels of traffic across the borough we have been able to reinstate this Middlewich section of the route. However, we will need to monitor the passenger numbers and reliability of the service over the coming months to assess the viability of retaining these elements of the service if and when traffic levels increase.
To secure a long-term solution, however, we also need the government to fulfil its promise to adequately fund local councils for the additional costs of the Covid pandemic.
We have received repeated assurances from government that councils will be fully compensated for costs incurred in the fight against Covid-19 – but we are yet to see the promise meet the forecasts. This council faces a shortfall of around £26m without additional government funding.
Councils across the country are all facing the same significant challenges – Cheshire East is far from unique. We need the government to fully deliver on its promises.
Please note that it is compulsory to wear a face mask when travelling on public transport or in a taxi, unless you have an authorised exemption.