The bus service to and from Dove Stone Reservoir begins again this coming Saturday.
There’s a different route, timetable and fare scheme from last summer, when the first attempt at operating a shuttle service didn’t prove successful.
The Saddleworth Hopper will run on Saturdays and Sundays from this weekend until at least 29 August, and could be extended into September if it goes well. The service will also be in action on the August Bank Holiday Monday.
The new price is just 30p for adults and 15p for children, which makes it cheaper than parking at Dove Stone. There’s also a £1 family ticket, for two adults and up to three children.
Buses will run every half an hour between 11am and 5pm, starting at the swimming pool in Uppermill, and stopping at the Hare and Hounds, Greenfield Station, the Clarence, and finally Dove Stone. Free parking is available in the long-stay car park at the baths.
Last year’s service had a more complicated timetable and cost £1 a time, and attracted a total of just 392 passengers all summer. As a result, Saddleworth Parish Council chose not to fund the service again.
However, the Saddleworth and Lees District Partnership agreed to put almost £4,000 of cash from Oldham Council into the project for this year, and the RSPB, which operates Dove Stone, as well as the Peak District National Park, have also contributed.
In a statement confirming the details of the new service, Cllr Royce Franklin, Chair of the Transport and Traffic Group for Saddleworth and Lees said: “Last year was the first year this service was run. We listened to people’s observations and have modified the route and the fares.”
He added: “We hope the alterations are sufficiently attractive for Saddleworth residents as well as visitors to the area to use the facility which means car drivers will no longer have to search for a car parking space at Dove Stone.”
Passengers who use the service this summer will be able to fill out feedback forms to give their views on it. Everyone doing so will be entered into a free prize draw.
Details about the timetables will be available from Saddleworth Museum, Greenfield Station, Oldham Tourist Information Centre and the Oldham Travel Shop, as well as at www.visitoldham.com