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Several bus services in High Peak to continue after rethink

Several bus services in the High Peak will be temporarily withdrawn from Wednesday (27 January), but many will continue thanks to people power.

High Peak Buses has said it will be drastically reducing its services from then, until further notice, due to staff shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

It had initially announced a host of suspensions on Monday but, after passengers and local politicians raised concerns, the operator published revised changes on Tuesday afternoon to accommodate more services which will be a lifeline for key workers and school children across the borough.

The 61 bus between Glossop and Buxton - via New Mills, Hayfield and Whaley Bridge - will continue to operate as normal Monday to Sunday. 

The following services were due to be suspended, but will now continue to run: 

  • 60/60A between Hayfield, New Mills, Whaley Bridge and Macclesfield (current reduced two-hourly service Monday to Saturday)
  • 190 between Buxton, Upper End, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Whaley Bridge (current reduced Monday to Saturday service)
  • 389 in New Mills town centre (current reduced Monday to Friday service)
  • 390 between Old Glossop, Glossop and Whitfield (current reduced Monday to Saturday service)
  • 393 between Padfield, Hadfield, Glossop and Shirebrook Park (current reduced Monday to Saturday service)
  • 394 between Glossop, Marple and Stepping Hill Hospital (the service will be run by Hulleys of Baslow, with travel free for the duration, on the amended timetable introduced this week)
  • 442 between Buxton and Ashbourne (the service will be run by Andrews and follow the current timetable) 

The 58 service between Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Buxton and Macclesfield will also continue to operate but it will be a much reduced service, which will be operated by D&G Buses. However, the fare will have to be a flat one, and passengers will have to buy two singles rather than a return.

The Trans Peak TP2 and TP3 will run a reduced two-hourly service every day, while the 199 bus will run an hourly service with some journeys serving Peak Dale and Fairfield, as well as a reduced evening service on weekdays.  

But the following services in the High Peak will still be suspended:

  • 61A between Chapel High School and Simmondley, via New Mills and Hayfield
  • 76 between Buxton and Brownedge
  • 77 between Buxton and Sherwood Road
  • 185/186 between Burlow, Harpur Hill, Buxton and Fairfield Estate
  • 441 between Buxton and Ashbourne

More details about services can be found here: https://www.highpeakbuses.com/service-changes/

High Peak Buses has apologised for any inconvenience and the short notice to passengers. 

It earlier said it will be "continually monitoring the situation and hope to be able to resume cancelled services as soon as we are able to", but it's unclear at this stage how long it will last for. 

The operator had already implemented changes to services this week due to the current national lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions. 

High Peak MP Robert Largan had written to Centrebus - which has a 50/50 shareholding in High Peak Buses alongside Wellglade Group - to ask for an urgent meeting to "find a way to fix these staffing shortages as a matter of urgency". 

He said on Tuesday: "There has been lots of back and forth all day between me, Derbyshire County Council and High Peak Buses.

“I'm pleased that they have listened and that the reduction in services will not be as drastic as announced yesterday. However, a huge number of services are still suspended, and others reduced to a skeleton service.

“I’ll continue working with them and Derbyshire County Council to get his services back up and running properly, as fast as possible.

"I’ve just taken the problems that we’ve been having with High Peak Buses to the Transport Select Committee and I’m pleased to report that the committee will be holding an inquiry into the impact of Covid on bus services on 10 February." 

Ruth George, county councillor for Whaley Bridge, Furness Vale, Chinley, Buxworth, Combs, Whitehough & Chapel Milton, said on her Facebook page: "I am sorry for all those who have temporarily lost some bus services, but this is far better than what was proposed. Thank you everyone who got in touch with me over your concerns and needs, which I have passed on to High Peak Buses. Thank you to the company for listening, and to all their staff who are keeping services going for all our other fantastic key workers." 

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