May 2011: bus operator contract changes

Sorry not in service destination displayAs well as bus operators making changes to their own commercial services, a number of contracted bus services come up for renewal on 1st May 2011. TfGM puts various unremunerative “socially necessary” services up for tender, and generally the lowest bid wins. This process helps keep costs down, but it can lead to occasions where different bus operators run the same service at different times of the day or on different days of the week – which means that Bus Company A’s day and week tickets are unlikely to be accepted by Bus Company B.

We’ve had a look at the routes changing hands in May. Note that we’re not rating whether Bus Company A is better than Bus Company B – just whether passengers are more or less likely to run into ticket validity problems.


We reckon that, on the whole, the changes to operators below may suit passengers, as there’ll be more journeys operated by the same operator which means that an operator-specific ticket may be better value than an “any bus” System One ticket:

# Route Period Old New
15 Manchester – Flixton Evenings and Sundays Arriva Stagecoach
255 Manchester – Partington Evenings Arriva Stagecoach
433 Rochdale – Castleton Early evenings and Sundays Rossendalebus Bu Val
458 Rochdale – Wardle Sundays Rossendalebus Bu Val


The operator changes below may cause problems for passengers who currently buy an operator-specific season ticket, as some journeys will be operated by a different operator who is unlikely to accept your ticket – you may want to upgrade to an “any bus” System One ticket:

# Route Period Old New
88 Manchester – Higher Blackley Evenings and Sundays First JPT
89 Manchester – Higher Blackley Evenings and Sundays First JPT
99 Manchester – Sale Sundays Arriva Stagecoach
101 Manchester – Wythenshawe Early Saturday mornings Stagecoach Finglands
159 Middleton – Oldham Morning peak Bluebird JPT
164 Manchester – Heywood Evenings and Sundays First JPT
165 Manchester – Heaton Park Evenings and Sundays First JPT
197 Manchester – Stockport Sundays Stagecoach Finglands
256 Manchester – Flixton Evenings Stagecoach JPT
370 Stockport – Altrincham Early Saturday mornings/evenings Stagecoach Finglands
371 Stockport – Altrincham Early Saturday mornings/evenings Stagecoach Finglands
444 Rochdale – Norden Early evenings and Sundays Rossendalebus Bu Val
447 Rochdale – Wallbank Sundays Rossendalebus Bu Val
516 Leigh – Horwich Sundays South Lancs Travel Strawberry
612 Wigan – Wrightington Hospital Evenings South Lancs Travel Maytree


We rate the following operator changes as roughly neutral: either the main service is operated by a completely different operator anyway, or the whole service is changing from one operator to another, so operator-specific season tickets won’t make too much difference:

# Route Period Old New
22 Bolton – Stockport Evenings Stagecoach First
125 Middleton – Bowlee Daytimes Bluebird The Coachmasters
154 Cheetham Hilll – Bury Daytimes Bluebird Stotts
217 Manchester – Mossley Evenings First JPT
268 Trafford General Hospital – Wythenshawe Daytimes JPT Go Goodwins
270 Bagueley – Trafford Centre Mornings Stagecoach Go Goodwins
278 Trafford General Hospital – Stretford Daytimes Hayton’s Go Goodwins
451 Rochdale – Peppermint Bridge Early evenings and Sundays Rossendalebus Bu Val
536 Bolton – Breightmet Evenings and Sundays Arriva Maytree
583 Leigh – Hag Fold Evenings and Sundays South Lancs Travel Maytree
584 Leigh – Crankwood Evenings and Sunday daytimes South Lancs Travel Strawberry
622 Wigan – Kitt Green Evenings Arriva Maytree

[Image credit: “Sorry” by Stephen Douglas on Flickr]


About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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9 Responses to May 2011: bus operator contract changes

  1. Pingback: May 2011 bus service changes overview | Manchester Transport

  2. Nicholas Lawley says:

    The 583 and 584 changes wouldn’t see any changes to ticket choices anyway. Jim Stones Coaches don’t do their own saver tickets or day returns – for example, on the 584 it would cost me £1.40 each way between home and Leigh, so if I was to use it six days a week (five days work and Saturday shopping) it would be £3 cheaper than a S1 weekly! (And to come back on an SLT at night would mean paying £1.50, so its still £2.50 cheaper!)

    As for the 583, similar would apply as it is more or less a merged 594/595 and 682 as JSC run both daytime services.

    • James McCollom says:

      Agreed. I think it’s new operators on routes such as the 88/89 and 197 which will have the greater effect.

  3. The 217 (Manchester to Mossley) service is a part route version of the daytime service. After 1900 hours, 217 journeys only operate between Droylsden and Manchester (Shudehill Interchange). The evening 217 has operated on a part route basis since 2007 when Speedwellbus won the tender, who lost it to First Pioneer.

    Prior to 2007, evening journeys were operated in their entirety from Ashton to Manchester by UK North, then Mayne of Manchester before then.

    • Felix says:

      Im told Mayne’s ran the evening 217 commercially but gave it up becuase no-one used it. I used it a few times during Speedwells regin on it and very few people ever travelled on it.

  4. bw says:

    What a joke this is… Some services operated by different company who won’t accept a companys day ticket.. So they buy a any bus(if they know about the change)… What about those people who buy a weekly pass on the bus? Before more than 1 company operate the same route without any indication at bus stops to indicate which bus is operated by which company at what time then they should introduce a weekly pass that can be bought on any bus.. Or for the above that was first busses allow them to be used on jpt busses that are on majority first services and give jpt a %.

  5. charley says:

    think its stupid , i had a first day ticket , and didnt know about the changes , i let 3 buses go past as i couldnt get on them with my ticket , then had to find an alternative bus to get home …..took me over 2 hours because i couldnt get my usual 89 bus …as they wouldnt accept my ticket ……..

  6. Pingback: Back to school for September bus timetable changes | Manchester Transport

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