A MIDDLEWICH ward member has thanked the town’s residents for their role in helping to save evening bus services.

As reported in last week’s Guardian, the number 37 service running from Sandbach to Winsford via Middlewich will be retained on its current timetable despite more than £1 million in cuts to services across east Cheshire.

Cllr Mike Parsons along with Cllr Bernice Walmsley, both of whom represent Middlewich on Cheshire East Council, had raised the issue with officers and fellow borough councillors.

During a public consultation on initial proposals to cut the evening service, residents also made their voices heard and helped sway the decision.

Cllr Parsons said: “The public transport consultation exercise was well received by the people of Middlewich, who represented themselves excellently, presenting one of the strongest responses in the borough.

“I have continued arguing the case for Middlewich’s public transport needs throughout subsequent relevant meetings of the environment committee and through meetings with public transport officers.

“Cllr Bernice Walmsley has also been prevalent in pressing the case with officers and at cabinet meetings.

“On Tuesday, February 6 we received the very heartening news that we had managed to save the evening services on the number 37 Sandbach to Winsford route, when we were given assurance that the current timetable on this service will remain unchanged.

“We are still fighting to try and save the last bus from Leighton Hospital and I can assure everyone that, in keeping with our true Middlewich First values, we will never give up the fight.”

All evening bus services subsidised by the council faced the axe in initial proposals, with the 37 one of just four set to continue on its current operation.

Cllr Paul Bates, CEC cabinet member for finance and communications, said: “I am pleased that we have been able to retain evening services on these key routes.

“Our bus network is the lifeblood for many of our residents, whether it’s travelling to work or college, visiting relatives in our local hospitals or simply keeping in touch with friends and family.

“As an authority that is actively encouraging residents to live independent and longer, healthier lives, I am very pleased.”

Bus services changes will be effective from April 1.