It’s back to school for Greater Manchester’s bus operators, as the summer holidays come to an end and the peak-hour picks up once more. As usual, many timetables are changing a teensy-weensy bit here and there to aid reliability – so check your timetable, especially if operated by First, Stagecoach, Rossendalebus, Maytree, Go Goodwins, South Lancs or Network Warrington. A full list of service changes is available on the TfGM website, but here are some of the more notable changes.
TfGM’s tendered “industrial” services to and from Trafford Park are re-organised, with some routes cut and others revised. An increased frequency on service 291 from Manchester city centre, running every 20 minutes during the peak hour and operated by Bluebird, comes at the price of the withdrawal of some less frequent services from other areas: the 241 and 243 from Partington, the 290 and 291 extension to Flixton. TfGM is advertising the connection possibilities at Trafford Bar but this will require use of an “any bus” ticket. Meanwhile, the 294 from Langley will now be operated by M Travel instead of JPT; and for those travelling to Agecroft Enterprise Park near Eccles, Arriva will be operating some additional journeys on circular services 74 and 75 calling there.
Changes of operator due to TfGM tendering are afoot too. Daytime service 99 between Manchester and Sale moves from Arriva to Finglands, only a few months after Stagecoach took over the Sunday journeys. Over in Tameside, First continue their run of successes in tendering, this time taking over Sunday journeys on service 168 between Ashton and Chorlton, as well as evening journeys on the 205 between Manchester and Dane Bank – Stagecoach losing out in both instances. And over in Rochdale, a new entrant to the area takes over operation of some of the local route contracts that have flitted between Rossendalebus and sadly departed Bu-val – Tyrer Bus will operate the 433 and 434 to Castleton all week, along with Sunday journeys to Norden (444), Wallbank (447), fragrant-sounding Peppermint Bridge (451) and Wardle (458). Being based near Todmorden, they’re also introducing a couple of positioning journeys between Todmorden and Rochdale on service 491.
In other route developments, earlier this year Stagecoach North West chopped their X61 service to Blackpool in half to comply with EU bus driver regulations, with the section of route between Manchester and Chorley renumbered X60 but operating as a through service. This changes in September, with the X61 cut back to operate between Chorley and Preston only. Metrolink construction work on Hardy Lane in Chorlton means diversions for the 84 and 168, whilst there are extra evening journeys introduced on Wilmslow Road Magic Bus services 142 and 143. Peak-hour morning service 145 is extended back to Cheadle Hulme – this becoming a seasonal September to Easter service for Cheadle Sixth Form College. Rossendalebus service 476 gets the chop between Bury and Ramsbottom, but is partially replaced by a rerouted service 477, whilst the recently introduced (in the wake of the collapse of Bu-val) service 436 between Rochdale and Cutgate, is replaced by a new service 445 which operates a more direct route into town via Spotland Bridge.
Most of these changes come into effect on the 4th or 5th September, with the exception of Tyrer Bus’ Sunday and bank holiday services in Rochdale which begin on 28th August.
Further reading: “Tameside Bus Service Changes 04 September 2011” at East of the M60
- Stagecoach Manchester and North West
- First Manchester
- Maytree Travel
- South Lancs Travel
[Image credit: “P9189095” by Ingy the Wingy on Flickr]