The revival of cross-city bus services in Manchester

Just weeks after Stagecoach Manchester brought the first cross-city bus route in years to Manchester when it extended the 50 to Salford Quays, First Manchester is set to catch the bug by extending one of its own services beyond the city centre.

From the 28th of October, the 18 (Manchester – Langley) will be extended beyond Shudehill Interchange to Manchester Royal Infirmary via Piccadilly Gardens and Oxford Road.

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A tale of two X41s (and a 41X)

X41 X41 41XWhen SELNEC PTE took over the combined bus operations of the Greater Manchester municipals in 1969, there were no fewer than seven routes numbered “1″ – in Salford, Bolton, Bury, Leigh, Rochdale, Ashton and Oldham. Many services were renumbered into three-digit route numbers that were (for the most part) unique within the county and remain with us today. How unfortunate therefore that recent service changes have left us with two X41s – and a 41X to boot! Continue reading

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West coast rail bid hits legal buffers

Virgin and FirstGroup trains outside Piccadilly stationIn a surprise move, the Government last night pulled the plug on the competition to run the West Coast Main Line franchise from December 2012. As you no doubt read elsewhere, the winning bidders were FirstGroup, who offered to pay £5.5 billion over the 14 year life of the franchise, £700 million more than incumbent Virgin. How did we get here and what happens now? Continue reading

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Cross-city bus route to replace Salford QuaysLink

50It doesn’t seem too long ago that I took a trip down to Salford Quays to view the new shuttle bus service between Salford Crescent and MediaCityUK, just over a year ago. News has emerged that the route is to be withdrawn in September – but in its place comes Manchester’s first cross-city bus link for some years as Stagecoach extends its service 50 from Albert Square to Salford Crescent and onto the Quays on a commercial basis! Continue reading

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Oldham gains its first tentative Metroshuttle

Over at East of the M60, Stuart took a trip on a new Metroshuttle service for Oldham beginning this week: a daily half-hourly service 400 to link to the rather remote temporary Metrolink stop at Mumps.

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Manchester plays host to Olympians

Olympic torch in LevenshulmeThe Olympics are here at last! Well, some of the football at least: Old Trafford football ground is playing host to both men’s and women’s football matches, with a range of transport links in place. As well as the Metrolink trams (closest stops: Old Trafford or Exchange Quay) there are free shuttle buses from Piccadilly and Victoria railway stations. Meanwhile, three Park & Ride sites are available for pre-booking: sites at Salford Reds stadium, the Trafford Centre and Sport City – scene of the Commonwealth Games ten years ago this month. Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Metrolink! 20 today…

Oldham Mumps Metrolink stationWhat better way to celebrate a birthday than with a big present? So Metrolink celebrates its 20th birthday today with the promise of twenty further new trams to arrive by 2014 and replace all the remaining original trams which are starting to show their age.

Many happy returns, Metrolink. You’ve had your share of growing pains in your teenage years, but now as you mature into your twenties, we hope that the best is yet to come.

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