May 2011: South Lancs Travel network changes

It wouldn’t be fair to describe the forthcoming changes to the Wigan bus network as a rush job, but there’s certainly been a bit of to-ing and fro-ing over the final details. If you’ve been reading GMITA committee papers this year, then you’ll have seen that several contracts in Wigan were up for renewal. South Lancs Travel offered to operate them commercially, but then found that they had to scale back from their original plans.

Initially, commercial Sunday journeys on service 516 between Leigh and Horwich and service 635 between Wigan and Shevington were proposed, to bring services into line with the commercial offerings on Monday to Saturdays, along with Friday/Saturday evening trips on the 635 as well as the 593 between Wigan and Leigh. These haven’t gone ahead (though a tendered Sunday service on service 516 has) but plans to commercialise Monday to Friday services to Platt Bridge, Orrell, Bottling Wood, Ince and Shevington have gone ahead albeit with some route changes and reduced frequencies, with some top-up Saturday operations still tendered by TfGM. The full list of changes looks like this:

# Route Change
514 Bolton – Middlebrook Replaced by circular routes 514 and 574, hourly Monday to Saturdays, also operating via Heaton and Gilnow
516 Leigh – Horwich Sunday service introduced, replacing service 615. Some journeys will be run by Strawberry.
583 Leigh – Hag Fold Evening and Sunday service, will now be operated by Maytree.
584 Leigh – Crankwood Monday to Saturday evening and Sunday daytime services, will now be operated by Strawberry.
612 Wigan – Wrightington Hospital Evening services will now be operated by Maytree.
614 Wigan – New Springs Frequency reduced from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes, some journeys renumbered 613 and rerouted via Bottling Wood
615 Leigh – Wigan Sunday journeys withdrawn and replaced by service 516 between Leigh and Horwich, with Arriva service 575 extended from Horwich and Aspull to Wigan
624 Worsley Hall – Bottling Wood via Wigan Changed to run between Bottling Wood and Wigan only. Partly replaced between Wigan and Bottling Wood by bus 613 and rerouted buses 664 and 674 in Worsley Hall.
630 Platt Bridge – Orrell via Wigan Changed to run between Marlborough Avenue and Wigan only. Replaced by bus 633 between Wigan and Windy Arbour/Orrell and the Hindley Local Link in Platt Bridge.
633 Wigan – Orrell New route introduced replacing bus 630 between Windy Arbour and Wigan with some journeys running to/from Orrell.
634 Wigan – Belle Green New route introduced replacing buses 664 and 674 between Belle Green, Ince and Wigan.
640, 641 Wigan – Shevington Timetable and route changes. Some journeys are renumbered 642 or 643.
664, 674 Bottling Wood – Belle Green via Wigan and Kitt Green Changed to run via circular routes between Wigan, Worsley Hall, Kitt Green, Beech Hill and Wigan only. The route in Beech Hill and Worsley Hall is also changed. Some journeys will no longer run via Wigan Infirmary grounds. Replaced by bus 634 and the Hindley Local Link between Belle Green, Ince and Wigan.
683, 684 Leigh – Tyldesley Rerouted to run via Butts Bridge instead of Leigh Infirmary.

Replacement timetables are not currently (Tuesday evening) available in the TfGM timetable library but check back soon.

Additionally, from 15th May 2011, South Lancs Travel will be withdrawing their Sunday journeys on route 126 between Leigh and the Trafford Centre. The Sunday service was introduced in August last year, but presumably has not proved popular enough.

[Image credit: “South Lancs Wright Meridian 333” by Quackdave on Wikimedia Commons]


About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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13 Responses to May 2011: South Lancs Travel network changes

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

  2. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    With regard to the South Lancs Travel route 126, where the Sunday service finishes in May, I think that the loadings registered since is introduced last August have had nine months to be evaluated.

    Look at the actual number of services that have ever been registered to work from all outlying areas to the Trafford Centre (or the Greater Manchester Vatican, as I heard it referred to last week). Everyone thought that there would be no end of demand for bus access, especially as the complaints about parking grew and grew.

    The only true method of need calculation was the actual passenger useage on the Monday to Saturday services and on the Sunday services. This is why there has been and still is ongoing rationalisation by operators running services to and from the Trafford Centre.

    Would the Metrolink service as first mooted ever have achieved good loadings? That is another matter!!!

  3. Shaun says:

    Another South Lancs Travel change, which has come up last minute, is the 638/639 circular services has been passed onto Wigan Buses, with route and timetable changes. Although, still waiting on timetables for the services from TfGM along with the other Wigan services from SLT and the 516.

    • Paul Sidorczuk says:

      I remember the old days (1980’s) when the 639 was a service that I used from Wigan to Parbold, run by Shearings with single deck buses painted in orange and yellow. How times have changed!!

  4. Danny With says:

    It’s the 2nd day of normal service since the timetable changes, and TfGM still haven’t got round to making time tables. I printed some 633 timetables from the SLT website and handed them out to passengers using the 630. No-one seemed to be aware of the changes and yesterday (Monday) there was a large que waiting for the 1635 630 bus to Windy Arbour at Wigan bus station, which no longer runs.

    TfGM seem to have dropped the ball regarding information. There’s not even any information in the main bus station at Wigan regarding any of the latest bus service changes, all the displays are still showing old timetables, which is adding to passenger confusion.

    Is this a county wide problem, or just TfGM leaving wigan in the blue?

    • James McCollom says:

      A lot of the changes to Wigan services were finalised quite late in the day. Design, printing and distribution of timetable guides has a turnround time of a few weeks – but there should have been more effort to put up posters at Wigan bus station by the sounds of it. You can send TfGM a comment/complaint if you want an official reply. For what it’s worth, Burnage railway station has new editions of locally affected bus timetables this week.

  5. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    Let’s give TfGM the benefit of the doubt as Monday, 1st May, was a Bank Holiday that unfortunately coincided with the commencing week of all these new changes.
    It was up to TfGM to have large advance notice posters about the forthcoming changes clearly displayed at all bus stations two weeks ago which would show the date in large letters when these changes would commence.

    But I will agree that all major bus station travel shops with racks of timetables should be displaying the new correct timetables or at least to have the ability to print them out as requested from Tuesday onwards with all old timetables removed. The new timetables should have been delivered to the travel shops in time to enable the staff there to be able to ensure a correct display of timetables by Tuesday morning.

  6. Shaun says:

    To be fair to SLT, they did get the PDF timetables up on their website, albeit just a few days before the changes (although I know not everyone are able to see the timetables online). And to defend TfGM, some of the new timetables aren’t even up on the Traveline North West Journey Planner either.

    I’m sure as soon as the new timetables are ready, they’ll be delivered to the bus stations and uploaded to the website.

  7. Paula Hesketh says:

    Iam very disappointed in the descision to withdraw the 640/641 bus service along Whitley Crescent and Sittingbourne road Whitley Wigan. This was the one and only bus service available for this area. Many elderly people use this service and are now expected to walk to Wigan Lane in order to get the bus.
    I hope the powers that be take a look at this unfair change that has been made, because its a descision that has been made that hasnt taken the needs of all people into consideration.

  8. Shaun says:

    I think the reason why the timetables for the Wigan services haven’t been put up yet, is that they are finalising the Saturday services. New registrations have appeared today from First Manchester for Saturday services for 624, 634 and 665/675 (probably meant 664/674 unless there is a slight variation on the route). Registration for a Sunday service on the 516 has also appeared from First.

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Wigan
    Finish Point: Belle Green
    Via: Ince
    Service Number: 634
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 07-MAY-2011
    Other Details: Sat daytime only hourly

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Wigan
    Finish Point: Wigan
    Via: Kitt Green
    Service Number: 665/675
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 07-MAY-2011
    Other Details: Sat daytime hourly

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Wigan
    Finish Point: Bottling Wood
    Via: Longshoot
    Service Number: 624
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 07-MAY-2011
    Other Details: St daytime hourly

    Registration Accepted by SN
    Starting Point: Leigh
    Finish Point: Horwich
    Via: West Houghton
    Service Number: 516
    Service Type: Normal Stopping
    Effective Date: 03-MAY-2011
    Other Details: Sun & public hols hourly

  9. Shaun says:

    The timetables are now up, so we have some clarity on the services:

    *516 – SLT run the Monday-Saturday daytime and early evening service plus Friday and Saturday late evenings, Strawberry will run the Monday-Thursday late evening service, First will run the Sunday and Public Holiday daytime service with a couple of journeys being run by Strawberry, Stagecoach NW will run the Sunday evening service.
    *613/614 – SLT reduce 614 to every 30 mins, with last weekday journey running as 613 via Bottling Wood. Wigan Buses will run first weekday 614 journey from New Springs and first Saturday 613 journey from New Springs
    *624 – SLT runs weekdays only, with one morning journey run by Wigan Buses. Saturdays run by First
    *633 – will run weekdays only to/from Winstaley College from today with first/last journey running to/from Orrell. No Saturday service.
    *634 – SLT runs weekdays only, First run Saturdays only
    *638/639 – Wigan Buses run service including the schoolday only 938/939 service
    *640 to 643 – 640/641 re-routed via Shevington Moor but only serves Bleachworks on Saturdays. First Saturday journeys by SLT runs as 642/643 via Worthington but not via Shevington Moor. Wigan Buses will run some early weekday morning journeys on 642/643.
    *664/674 – SLT run weekdays only. Saturday service provided by First services 665/675, which run along same route apart from in Beech Hill area. 664/674 run via Shaftesbury Street, Acacia Crescent and Rose Avenue, while 665/675 will run direct via Beech Hill Avenue. Strawberry will run the last clockwise journey on the day, weekdays as 664, Saturdays as 665. – includes 613/624

  10. Danny With says:


    Just in case anyone’s interested. It seems all the SLT timetables have now been published on the TfGM website.

    • Shaun says:

      Yep, all up now, 126 being the last as the new timetable doesn’t start til Sunday, when the Sunday service is scrapped, although the Monday-Saturday evening service still does run, which is good news for late night shoppers and workers heading back to Leigh.

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