THERE are concerns the Leigh Guided Busway is struggling to cope with demand after claims it "has been a victim of its own success".

Residents and councillors have criticised the guided busway in recent months, with complaints that people have been left stranded at bus stops as packed vehicles have driven past.

Astley & Mosley Common Councillor Barry Taylor said people may choose to travel by car due to the packed buses, and claimed passengers were being ignored at bus stops due to overcrowding on the vehicles.

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Leigh Journal: Vantage buses and the Guided Busway have come under scrutiny in recent monthsVantage buses and the Guided Busway have come under scrutiny in recent months (Image: TfGM)

“The transport sector is the highest emitter in the borough,” he told the Confident Places Scrutiny Committee. 

“What we did was manage to get the Leigh Guided Busway and what is happening now is that people are queueing up and they’re [the V1 buses] going straight past. 

“We know they’ve cut services and what’s happening is people are getting on earlier and those further down can’t get on.

"Eventually what is going to happen is that people will say I’ll go in the car instead.”

Paul Barton, director of Environment for Wigan Council, explained he would "put pressure on" Transport for Greater Manchester and mayor Andy Burnham to look into this.

Transport is a key issue in the borough as it is more isolated than the other areas in the region; having no tram service and little in the way of train stations compared to other boroughs.

Although the Vantage bus service has not resumed to full service since being cut back during the pandemic, transport bosses decided not to make changes to the controversial bus network.

The main issue on Leigh's Guided Busway is punctuality and not over capacity, transport bosses believe.

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Leigh Journal: V1 and V2 buses take passengers along the guided busway into ManchesterV1 and V2 buses take passengers along the guided busway into Manchester (Image: First Manchester)

In terms of emissions, committee chair Coun John O’Brien told the chamber they are surrounded by busy roads with thousands of cars using the nearby M6, M61 and the East Lancs road on a daily basis.

Despite this, the borough’s emissions have dropped and there are plans to become more carbon neutral with a proposal to bring solar panels to Leigh Sports Village (one of their biggest carbon emitters), the committee heard.

The committee also praised the work done by the environment team on the climate crisis – who have overseen a 7.7 per cent reduction in emissions from 2019-2020 (the most recent data).