BUS passengers have been voicing their disapproval over new timetables and bus route changes.
Disgruntled Network Warrington passengers say they were left waiting for buses and facing longer journeys as the company brought in a swathe of changes its says are needed to keep the business sustainable.
Travellers from Gemini to Birchwood face a 50 minute journey rather than the 20 minute one they had previously.
And the bus company had to step in with a new service for Great Sankey High School pupils travelling from Sankey Bridges because the changed times meant they would either get to school an hour early or five to 10 minutes late.
Councillors have also been speaking out about the changes.
In Appleton the 10C service now has a last departure from the bus interchange at 3.08pm.
Clr Judith Wheeler (LD - Appleton) said: “I realise Network Warrington is facing budgetary pressures and changes and compromises have to be made.
“However many Appleton residents are now facing a real disadvantage.
“I know many residents have already written to Network Warrington expressing their concerns.
I urge Network Warrington to listen to these and consider alternative ways such as diverting other routes maybe so residents of Epsom Gardens, Longwood Road and Dudlow's Green could benefit from an extended bus service.”
While Culcheth councillors Chris Vobe and Matt Smith called for talks with Network Warrington over the 19 service which no longer travels down Hob Hey Lane and Common Lane.
Clr Matt Smith said: “It is important that any changes to the bus service do not result in people – particularly the elderly – feeling stranded. For people living at the top of Common Lane, it will be a long walk to the nearest bus stop if the current route is changed.
“What’s more, we are concerned that these changes will result in a further reduction in the number of people using the Number 19 service. If that happens, it may threaten the long-term viability of our local bus service, and we are determined not to let that happen.”
Damian Graham, interim managing director, said the changes had been drawn up and debated over a six month period by the company’s board.
He added: “These changes have been made after a robust study, gathering information on passenger numbers from our on board ticket machines and CCTV systems and have been necessary in order to make efficiencies and to keep the company sustainable going forward.
“The board in reviewing the decisions taken have a responsibility to the whole of the network and decisions have not been taken lightly. The future of the company is of paramount importance to the company, its employees, passengers and the town.