New operators have been found for most services affected by the closure of a bus company last weekend.
Little Gem gave TfGM 24 hours’ notice that the company would stop running contracted services for school and local routes from Saturday 21 April. The firm’s owner Wesley Goodwin told the Manchester Evening News that the company had gone into administration.
Buses will continue to run to all schools previously served under the Little Gem contracts.
For local services, TfGM said new emergency contracts – which will run for 13 weeks while a ‘more permanent solution is explored’ – will see Belle Vue take over the 280 and 288 bus service, D&G the 260, 261 and 262 and First the 336, 337 and 389.
However, no operator has come forward to bid for the 375 service, and TfGM says it is “is working to limit the impact on residents in Upper Hazel Grove, Hawk Green and Mellor in particular, as they are most affected due to a lack of alternative bus or other public transport services” with the limited service outlined below.
A spokesman added the bid to replace 44, 84 or 217 bus services was more than £500,000 higher than the previous contracts (for the 13-week period), meaning they have not appointed an operator for those so there is no replacement service in place.
The following buses will continue to operate on existing timetables:
- 260 - will be operated by D&G from Tuesday 2 May 2023
- 261 - will be operated by D&G from Tuesday 2 May 2023
- 262 - will be operated by D&G from Tuesday 2 May 2023
- 280 - will be operated by Belle Vue from Monday 8 May 2023
- 288 - will be operated by Belle Vue from Monday 8 May 2023
- 336 - will continue to be operated by First (as is currently the case)
- 337 - will continue to be operated by First (as is currently the case)
- 389 - will continue to be operated by First (as is currently the case)
TfGM’s deputy director of bus services, Alison Chew, said: “We understand the concerns of passengers reliant on those services previously operated by Little Gem and have worked hard to get them covered in the short and medium term. While we have been able to cover most of the services, there are some that will not be replaced right away – either because we’ve not had any bids from operators or the cost to run them is unjustifiably high.
“In most cases there are several alternative options for people to use, and where there isn’t – or the choice is more limited – I would like to reassure everyone that we are still looking at a range of other options to reduce the impact on you. We’ll continue to update people with any changes, and I would encourage people to visit our website for the latest information.”
- A page with full information to help passengers plan their journey is available on TfGM’s website.