STAFFORDSHIRE: Biddulph bus
Aldi Biddulph - 1
Biddulph’s 93 bus route has been adapted to incorporate the town’s new Aldi supermarket which opens next week.
The updated route will launch on Monday 22nd November, in time for the supermarket opening its doors from Thursday.
The bus route, effectively a Biddulph circular, is funded by Biddulph Town Council at a cost of £40,000 per year.
It connects Biddulph Moor with the town’s residential areas and the town centre.
Staffordshire County Council withdrew funding for a number of rural bus services in 2017, and the town council stepped in to fund their local route as they felt it provided an important travel link for the area.
It’s also felt that it’s an important service for helping to tackle social isolation in some of the more remote areas surrounding Biddulph.
The town council’s chief officer Sarah Haydon explained: “We decided it would be really positive if we could link the bus service into that site.
“We negotiated with Aldi, so the 93 bus will go in and out of the Aldi site eight times a day.”
A new dedicated bus stop has been set up outside the retail giant, and it means people will be able to visit both the supermarket and town centre shops using the same service.
Mrs Haydon said: “That was quite important for us as well, because it links Aldi with the town centre, so you can go to Aldi and then go to the town centre which helps keep the town centre sustainable.”
She continued: “Biddulph town centre is doing pretty well, we’ve got some new shops, there’s not a lot of empty space in the town centre.
“But we do want people to keep coming in and using the local independents that are here, so we wanted a way to link the new store with that.”
She added: “It’s great that Aldi is investing in the town, and we’re really pleased about that. Local jobs are incredibly important.”
She said the road outside the store is quite busy with traffic, and that the store sits on a junction identified as ‘critical’ in the Neighbourhood Plan.
The town council believes including the store as part of the bus route could help alleviate some traffic in the area.
The new timetables will be advertised around the town and online to promote usage of the service.
Words: Richard Price, Local Democracy Reporter
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