Service changes, 15th April

A blue bus for Bluebird of MiddletonTimetables change on many bus services this week: perhaps the biggest changes this weekend are in terms of contracted routes seeing new operators (remember this next time TfGM say there’s a lack of competition); First and Stagecoach change several timetables for punctuality reasons; South Lancs Travel revise their network (again); plus there is some trimming of journeys here and there, and the odd additional journey too. Too many details to make for a very interesting summary, you could say: but here’s a list seeing new operators on the latest rotation of the contract carousel.


  • 22 (Stockport to Bolton) evening journeys, from Stagecoach Manchester
  • 494 (Bury to Fern Grove) Sundays and public holidays, from Rossendalebus


  • 109 (Manchester to Wythenshawe Hospital) evening journeys, from Stagecoach


  • 41 (Ashton to Dukinfield circular) weekday daytimes, from Stotts  ecobus 
  • 138 (Manchester to Bury) evenings, from Arriva
  • 154 (Bury to Cheetham Hill) daytimes, from Stotts  ecobus 
  • 512/513 (Bolton to Bury) daytimes, from Maytree  ecobus 
  • 516 (Horwich to Leigh) Sunday daytimes, from South Lancs Travel
  • 584 (Leigh to Crankwood) Sunday daytimes, from South Lancs Travel

High Peak

  • 202 (Glossop to Chisworth) daytimes commercially, from Stagecoach

Manchester Community Transport

  • 194 (Longsight to Wythenshawe Hospital) daytimes, from Bluebird
  • 196 (West Didsbury to Cheadle Hulme circular) daytimes, from Bluebird


  • 273 (Bolton to Rawtenstall) Sunday and public holidays, from Arriva
  • 495 (Simister to Prestwich) daytimes, from Bluebird
  • 507 (Bolton to Harwood circular) evenings, from Arriva
  • 516 (Horwich to Leigh) evenings, from South Lancs Travel
  • 561/562 (Bolton to Withins circulars) evenings, from Arriva
  • 584 (Leigh to Crankwood) evenings, from South Lancs Travel

M Travel

  • 188 (Manchester to Ryder Brow) daytimes, from Bluebird

South Lancs Travel

  • 360 (Wigan to Newton-le-Willows) evenings, Sundays and public holidays, from Arriva
  • 516 (Horwich to Leigh) Sunday and public holiday evenings, from Stagecoach in Lancashire
  • 550 (Farnworth to Walkden) daytimes, from Maytree
  • 557 (Highfield to Prestolee) daytimes, from Maytree
  • 584 (Leigh to Crankwood) Sunday and public holiday evenings, from Stagecoach in Lancashire
  • 624 (Wigan to Bottling Wood) Saturday daytimes, from First
  • 634 (Wigan to Belle Green) Saturday daytimes, from First
  • 665 (Wigan to Kitt Green circular) Saturday daytimes, from First
  • 675 (Wigan to Kitt Green circular) Saturday daytimes, from First

Stagecoach Manchester

  • 342/344 (Hyde to Backbower circulars) daytimes, from Stotts


  • 129 (Middleton to Stanycliffe circular) daytimes, from JPT
  • 202 (Glossop to Hyde) daytimes, from Stagecoach
  • 343/344 (Oldham to Hyde) daytimes, from Stagecoach

Of particular interest is Arriva winning tendered evening journeys on service 22 from Stagecoach. This means that the route now sees all three of the Big Three PLCs operating at various times. Is there any other route in England that can claim such a distinction?

Further information

[Image credit: “Bluebird Bus & Coach R133 NPN” by Ingy the Wingy on Flickr]


About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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18 Responses to Service changes, 15th April

  1. Martin says:

    I understand that tendered services must provide value to TFGM, and hence they will go for the lowest bid – but this must cause chaos for passengers, especially routes such as the 109 (and Saturday early 101s!) which are Stagecoach for the majority – on what grounds can TFGM say it is fair when the move is hardest on passengers – it seems unfair that those buying the weekly Stagecoach tickets have to pay extra to use these services, or now have to pay extra to buy a system one pass for the benefit of two daily round trips run by Finglands.

  2. Michael Tinker says:

    service 419 is also run now by Ecobuses from today Ashton to Middleton

  3. Shaun says:

    I can understand people being unhappy finding another operator running a couple of journeys on services they use but at the end of the day, money talks. Whoever comes in with the lowest bid will win the contract.

    There’s a couple of services, in which a SystemOne ticket/pass will definitely be needed. One is the 584, which now has four operators: Jim Stones (Mon-Sat daytime), Maytree (Mon-Sat evening), First Manchester (Sunday daytime) and SLT (Sunday evening). The other is the 370: Stagecoach Manchester (Mon-Sat daytime), Finglands (Some Sat morning), Arriva (Mon-Sat evenings) and JPT (Sundays).

    There was one late change, which is Bluebird finally giving up on the 188 between Hollinwood and Manchester and re-numbering the Chadderton-Hollinwood section as 152. Was never gonna be easy for Bluebird to get passengers on Oldham Road, given that they ran one bus per hour compared to First’s 18ph on the 83 and 180/184, which meant usually running empty for the majority of the route.

    • conn1231 says:

      That Bluebird 188 change is interesting, more so when you consider they’ve ditched the 77 down Rochdale Road as well.

  4. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    Jumping the gun to two more that will take place on 29th April…..

    Bluebird will withdraw from the 84 service (Woodhouses to Manchester)

    Arriva will withdraw from the 264 service (Altrincham to Manchester)

  5. The 202 is a commercial registration by High Peak, not a tender win

  6. Shaun says:

    I’m not surprised about the 84 being withdrawn cos I don’t think I’ve seen it running for the last couple of weeks. Not sure what’s going on with Bluebird. They had registered a 43 service between West Didsbury and Manchester but never seen it running until last Friday, about a week after they posted a cancellation on VOSA.

    I’m surprised that they also cut the 77 back as I thought they would use that and the 112 to try and compete against First on the 81 and JPT on the 118 on the Moston-Manchester route.

    • Red Mist says:

      No 77 now, terminating in Newton Heath, leaving New Moston and Moston like a black hole as far as public transport goes. I asked a driver why the 77 was being pulled and he simply said too many pensioners with free travel were getting on it during the day and the service wasn’t making any money. I have already gone back to the car. So much for public transport and choice. I’m not willing to buy two weekly tickets for Bluebird and Stagecoach just to get to and from where I work to New Moston. The car might not be greener but it’s cheaper.

  7. Shaun says:

    And only £1 more than a FirstWeek ticket, so not bad value for money.

  8. Andrew Bott says:

    Another nail in the coffin for Bluebirds 77 was when First Manchester re-routed 24 to operated down Nuthurst Road & St Mary’s Road which for as long as I can remember was always Bluebird territory, from having a frequent service only last year, Moston Lane East/Nuthurst Road only now has 1 bus an hour and that’s Bluebirds X75 Moston Gardners Arms-Piccadilly service.

    Speaking of Bluebird I notice that their due to be up before the traffic commisioner shortly according to the latest Notices & Proceedings from VOSA

    • Owl says:

      According to report on proceedings this weeks ” Route One ” magazine, Bluebird were actually at PI a couple of weeks ago. Judgement was reserved, so this is possibly what they will be finding out this time round.

  9. steven says:

    Can anyone explain the reasons behind First X35 extension to/from Bass Lane, Walmersley from the previous terminus of Edenfield Hope Hill/Hope Mill (the timetable has both!). This seems an unusual spot to start and finish and I can’t see many passengers using it along this stretch.

    • James McCollom says:

      It would seem a logical place to start the journey if it were running empty off the M66 – whether this is the case I’m not sure (too early and wrong end of the county to experience!)

      • Shaun says:

        I’d guess that the X35 extension is more for serving people in Shuttleworth and the southern part of Edenfield, as a partial replacement to the X44 withdrawal last year, along with the additional X8 journeys.

        Walmersley is probably the terminus as it probably does return back to Bury depot via the M66 rather than down Walmersley Road.

  10. megan says:

    When the 495 was a blubird. It was a really good travvel 80p every day until it changed to maytree and for the first week the fare changed daily the bus came at differnt times and on 3 days it didn’t tuurn up atall the bus driver never had change, today I got the bus and the driver was soo rude it was unbeliveable !!

    • Shaun says:

      As it is a tendered service, you can direct complaints to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), who may look into the matter.

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