A leading Rochdale retailer has credited the free shuttle bus with driving up shopper numbers since its launch a month ago.
Marks and Spencer manager Nick Bluer, who has recently overseen a £500,000 revamp of the Yorkshire Street store, said that the bus had brought visitor numbers back to last year’s levels following a slump.
He said: “The shuttle bus has been a great addition to Rochdale town centre. The response we have had from our customers has been fantastic. The on bus promotion of M&S has also helped put the Rochdale store in the top five in the country for click and collect sales, which is great news for our high street.”
More than 800 people have hopped aboard the bus since it was launched to help people get around the town centre more easily during the demolitions.
It leaves stand c in the bus station every 20 minutes between 8.05am and 5.05pm with stops on Newgate, near the post office for access to the Town Hall and Exchange shopping centre. It also has stops on Hunter’s Lane near the Baum and Pioneer’s Museum for access to shops on Yorkshire Street and Cheetham Street as well as the market hall.
Manager at Boots, Michael Webster, also credits the free bus with helping to minimise the impact of the demolition.
Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “We launched the shuttle bus on a three month trial in response to feedback from our loyal retailers, so we’re delighted to hear they’re feeling the benefit.
“I understand that the demolition will inevitably cause disruption, but I’d encourage our residents to continue to visit us, as Rochdale town centre is very much still open for business, and in many cases, as M&S has shown, thriving.”