The only direct bus service linking Buxton and the High Peak with Manchester city centre is set to be scrapped.
From mid-July, the Transpeak service to and from Derby will no longer operate to Manchester and will instead start and terminate at Buxton.
CentreBus Ltd, which operates High Peak Buses, told the Advertiser this week that operating the Transpeak service between Manchester and Buxton was ‘no longer commercially viable’.
Bijel Mistry, Commercial Manager for CentreBus Ltd, said: “From Sunday July 22 the timetable for the Transpeak service will be changing.
“Due to increasing costs and low revenue on the section of the route between Buxton and Manchester, it is unfortunately no longer commercially viable to operate to Manchester.
“The majority of passengers travelling between this section are concessionary pass holders from local authorities with these passengers covering less than half of the equivalent standard single fare.
“We understand passengers will be disappointed to hear of these changes, however it is not a decision we have taken lightly. High Peak Buses operate this service on a commercial basis and with the current climate of increasing fuel and staffing costs, against a backdrop of reducing government funding for bus operators, it has become necessary for us to continually review and ensure they are covering the costs of operating them.”
The announcement means passengers wanting to travel to Manchester by bus will have to board the Skyline 199 service towards Stockport and then change.
A revised Transpeak timetable will operate from July 22 between Buxton and Derby, with the majority of journeys running via Harpur Hill instead of along the A515.
Ms Mistry said: “There are currently no changes planned for the 185/186 service following the Transpeak service being re-routed through Harpur Hill and the re-routing, which does not cost us any additional resource, allows us to provide a Sunday service to the area.”
Reacting to the news, High Peak MP Ruth George said: “Transpeak were already cutting its last services from both Manchester and Derby due to the cuts to subsidy from Derbyshire County Council.
“Stopping the service at Buxton will be a further blow to the service’s users, who are faced with changing onto the Skyline bus, and possibly changing again at Stockport. That makes it harder to take the bus, and will lead to less job opportunities for people in rural areas and more isolation.
“The routing of the Transpeak around Harpur Hill will provide a better service for residents, and we now have the half-hourly off-peak trains as an alternative.”