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Night Bus Party Protest to show First how it’s done

Revellers will be donning party hats and banging out the tunes for an unusual three-hour protest against the cutting of late-night bus services.

From midnight on Saturday 2 April – the day before the night buses end – campaigners and activists will meet in Piccadilly Gardens before flooding onto the night buses in Manchester city centre and riding them all the way to Bolton and back.

“It’s about making some noise about the cuts,” said campaign leader Kev Walsh, who lives in Bolton.

“Most people who use these services are still unaware that anything’s going to change.”

SalfordOnline.com revealed how from 3 April First Manchester decided to end their popular 8, 36 and 39 night buses between Manchester city centre and Bolton, leaving large swathes of Salford out in the cold.

Night bus cuts: Swinton, Walkden, Little Hulton left out

Shift workers, early-morning commuters and pub and club-goers will all be affected.

Now the last service on the 8 route will be four hours earlier than it was, at 11pm in the Bolton to Manchester direction and at 11.59pm from Manchester Piccadilly to Bolton.

On the 36 line, the final service between Bolton and Manchester will be at 10.45pm, and in the opposite direction at 11.55pm.

The decision also follows a series of other bus services being cut as the controversial £68m Leigh Guided Busway prepares to open.

Read: Bus services axed in wake of Guided Busway opening

An online petition to save the night bus service has gained over 1,000 signatures in the past seven days.

Kev added: “First have taken this decision without bothering to talk to the people that use and need night buses.

“When these services get axed there’s no way I’ll be able to get into Manchester for gigs or to meet friends.

The fact that the bus company say these routes are not economical is a nonsense.

“They’re packed every night, and people often use Daysavers or weekly passes, so they’ll not be counted as specifically using that service.

“People just can’t afford £30 or £50 for a taxi home from Manchester.

“We just want to show how much this service is actually needed.”

A spokesperson for First told SalfordOnline.com last week that the company had tried to run the service “on a purely commercial basis for over a year” and they were not covering the cost of operation, so had to be withdrawn.

Transport for Greater Manchester funding for the night bus services ended in January 2015.

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.