I am pleased to confirm that following my petition, which attracted the support of hundreds of local residents and other community groups, the 375 will not be scrapped and will continue to serve our area.
I am very pleased that the Greater Manchester Transport Committee and Transport for Greater Manchester listened to our call to save the 375 service
Thank you for taking the time to contact me, and I hope that you and your family are staying safe in these difficult times.
Below is the press released in junction with Cllr David Mellor, the Labour Councillor responsible for Economic Regeneration at Stockport Council and Cllr Tom Dowse, the Conservative Councillor for Marple South and High Lane ward:
375 BUS SAVED THROUGH CROSS-PARTY WORKING
Joint press release between William Wragg MP, Cllr David Meller and Cllr Tom Dowse.
Thursday 9th April 2020
William Wragg MP, Cllr David Meller and Cllr Tom Dowse are pleased to officially confirm that the 375 bus route has been saved.
The bus route, which serves the communities of Mellor, Hawk Green, Marple, Offerton and Stepping Hill, was set to be cut on Sunday 19th April after Stagecoach decided to end its commercial operation of the service.
This followed the decision from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) to withdraw subsidy for the section of the route covering Mellor-Marple.
Contrary to previous reports, the 375 route was officially saved today when the Transport for Greater Manchester Chief Executive, Eamonn Boylan, approved the decision to subsidise the entire route under emergency delegated powers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
William Wragg MP, Cllr David Meller and Cllr Tom Dowse put political differences to one side and jointly called for the 375 to be saved.
William Wragg MP and Cllr David Meller worked closely with TfGM and the Greater Manchester Transport Committee to try and find a solution, while Cllr Tom Dowse led calls on supporting students from Marple who study at Aquinas College and use the service.
Labour Cllr Mark Aldred, Chair of the Greater ￼Manchester Transport Committee, said:
“Cllr Meller and William Wragg MP have been in constant contact with me as they were the ones that heard the commercial operation of the entire service was coming to an end.
“As a result, this meant TfGM could consider other ways to keep the route alive. TfGM will be subsidising the whole route as it provides better value for money compared to subsiding one section of the route as happened previously.
“However, the route depends on people using it. Therefore, it is vitally important people use the service to secure its long-term future. I am really pleased we have reached such a positive outcome.”
On the decision to save the route, William Wragg, Conservative MP for Hazel Grove said:
“I am absolutely delighted that the GM Transport Committee and Transport for Greater Manchester have listened to our joint-call to save the 375 service.
“My petition, which was signed by hundreds of local people, showed the strength of feeling over cutting the service. I also raised the issue in the House of Commons and wrote directly to the Greater Manchester Transport Committee.￼
“I am very thankful to the chair, Cllr Aldred, and TfGM for their work on saving this vital bus service. This is especially welcome during such a turbulent period for our country and with all the additional strain COVID-19 is causing.”
Cllr David Meller, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration on Stockport Council and Labour Councillor for Cheadle Hulme North said:
“Working cross-party on this has been essential and proved that we can put political differences aside to support the residents of Stockport.
“Cllr Aldred and TfGM officers have been excellent on this and understood that from the moment the whole route was set to be cut, something needed to be done. We have all worked together and managed to deliver a good outcome for Stockport and its residents.
“The route is, strategically, an important one. From linking remote communities to essential services to providing a route for residents to visit our transforming town centre, it was critical this route was saved.
“Without the route, it would have forced more people into their cars and added more traffic onto our roads.
“It’s also important that once we’re through the worst of COVID-19 – and we will get there – people can visit friends, family, go about their normal lives and maybe even venture further afield. By saving the 375, people will have the opportunity to do those things.
“However, as Cllr Aldred has said, it’s important people use the service – by doing so, it’ll help guarantee its long-term future.”
Cllr Tom Dowse, Conservative Councillor for Marple South and High Lane, said:￼
"This shows that by working together what can be achieved. From the grassroots up, our focus has been to ensure the 375 service is retained, and I am pleased that by working￼ on a cross-party basis, we've been able to so. Thank you to all involved!"
From Sunday 19th April, the 375 will run as a two-hourly service due to COVID-19. However, it will return to its usual timetable once in a position to do so.