Network Rail have closed the main road between Bolton and Leigh from today until the beginning of December in order to replace the bridge over the railway line next to Atherton railway station – but there is some small comfort for disrupted bus passengers in the shape of 11 new single deckers (pictured) that First Manchester have put into use on service 582.
In a welcome display of co-ordination between competitors, First and South Lancs Travel appear to have arranged their services to complement each other and ensure that most passengers will suffer the least amount of disruption. First will divert their service 582 between Atherton town centre and Four Lane Ends in Over Hulton, running non-stop via Tyldesley and Over Hulton, but will reduce the service frequency from every 10 minutes to every 12 minutes due to the longer journey time. Meanwhile, South Lancs Travel will split their services 581 and 592 into two separate sections, enabling passengers to connect between the two via a short walk over the temporary footbridge between Atherton railway station and Marlborough Avenue, ensuring that bus stops along Bolton Road and Newbridge Road are not left stranded. In the evenings and on Sundays, when the 581 and 592 do not operate, two shuttle bus services will be provided by Wigan Council to connect into the diverted 582.
First has introduced 11 new single deckers with leather seating onto service 582, possibly ahead of a proposed Quality Partnership Scheme along the corridor, the new vehicles easily distinguishable from the existing buses which feature an older-style front-end. In other Bolton news, Maytree have taken delivery of the first TfGM-owned hybrid vehicles for use on contract services – unfortunately due to poor availability, they’ve so far been seen more regularly lending a hand on the MediaCityUK shuttle service rather than operating on the services they are intended for!
- First Manchester: service 582 diversion
- South Lancs Travel: services 581 and 592 truncation
- TfGM: service change news release
[Image credit: “First Manchester, Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban II (69522, BD11 CEU)” by Buses in West Yorkshire on Flickr]