Hip to See Squares: Ten Great Focal Piazzas

Our Latest Not So Perfect Ten looks at a fistful of focal piazzas outside London

In the last fifteen months, many of us have become more aware of their surroundings thanks to lockdown conditions. Exercising and trips out for essential items have been a local affair. Working from home has meant more people knowing their way around the local Co-op (other convenience store chains are available) instead of city centres or business parks.

Continue reading “Hip to See Squares: Ten Great Focal Piazzas”
Tecsun PL-310ET radio receiver (with Revolution 96.2FM).

Imagine There’s No Choice… Greatest Hits Radio Swallows Up Cheshire Radio Station

Bauer purchase sees end of Imagine FM

Months after the purchase of Revolution 96.2 FM from Credible Media, Like Media Group’s Imagine Radio was swallowed up by Bauer’s Greatest Hits Radio juggernaut. The sale of its flagship station, alongside sister stations, Ashbourne Radio and High Peak Radio was confirmed on the Radio Today website.

Continue reading “Imagine There’s No Choice… Greatest Hits Radio Swallows Up Cheshire Radio Station”
Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

Clean Air Day Call for Modal Switch

Stagecoach Group uses Clean Air Day to push for modal switch from car to public transport

For public transport, the COVID-19 pandemic has been unkind to say the least. Despite Transdev’s ‘Clean and Ready to Go’ and ‘Back To Bus’ campaigns, public transport patronage is still way below pre-pandemic levels. If you remember the four scenarios in Transport for Greater Manchester’s second Bus Franchising System consultation, we seem to be heading towards the car-based growth scenario.

Continue reading “Clean Air Day Call for Modal Switch”

Cars on Trains: The Wonders of Motorail

How we let the train take the strain – by carrying us and our cars at the same time

If we put our minds to it, we can let the train take the strain even more. Not only passengers from A to B, also our worldly goods like parcels, raw materials and fuel oil. For carrying heavy loads at once, nothing beats the goods train’s ability at taking more cars off the roads.

Continue reading “Cars on Trains: The Wonders of Motorail”

Three Drivers Praised For Heroic Actions

Trio of Stagecoach Greater Manchester drivers save woman from distress

Stagecoach Greater Manchester drivers; Darren Shaw, John Livsey, and Paul Kitchen have been jointly recognised as the company’s Star of the Month, after saving a woman in distress on a motorway bridge.

Continue reading “Three Drivers Praised For Heroic Actions”

Forgotten Fast Food Joints of the Last Half Century Extra #1: Huckleberry’s

Feast of the M60 looks at some more obscurities in the world of hamburger hawking

Several years ago, we did a Feast of the M60 Not So Perfect Ten on forgotten fast food joints. We included King John’s Restaurant in the now-missed Kings Hall shopping arcade in Oldham, and the Big Bite burger bar that was in the corner of Co-op’s Shopping Giant superstore.

Since 2012, the Great British Burger Market® has become a lot more competitive. Whereas McDonalds is top dog in the mainstream market, Five Guys and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have carved a niche at the premium end. In the middle ground, J.D Wetherspoon enjoys that position, once enjoyed by Wimpy. Where it trumps many of the burger giants is the fact it sells cask conditioned ales.

Alongside McDonalds and Wimpy, the close of the 1970s saw the rise of a third force in fast food in the South of England. It was Burger Queen’s first foray into the UK market. Enter Huckleberry’s.

Continue reading “Forgotten Fast Food Joints of the Last Half Century Extra #1: Huckleberry’s”

TfGM’s Paperless Bus Timetable Trials

Better Bus Rides on Paperless Bus Guides in Oldham and Stockport

The days of the dead tree bus timetable could be numbered in years to come as smartphones and tablets become the norm for today’s passengers. Instead of rows and rows of bus timetables, passengers could scan a QR code for their desired service.

Continue reading “TfGM’s Paperless Bus Timetable Trials”

Down To The Park: Walkden Gardens, Sale

The start of a new series that looks at Greater Manchester’s parks and gardens

At this moment in time, this pandemic is (hopefully) coming to an end. We are still encouraged to practice social distancing and try not to use public transport for non-essential travel. The message of “Hands, Faces, Space, and Fresh Air” and the lighter nights make trips to the park most favourable.

Continue reading “Down To The Park: Walkden Gardens, Sale”

When are the Last Trains to London?

Beat of the M60 finds an excuse to combine trains with music

“It was 9.29, 29… 9.29 back street, big city/The sun was going down, there was music all round, it felt so right.”

Last Train to London, Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

Continue reading “When are the Last Trains to London?”

‘Bridge Bi-Mode Breakthrough

Class 769 bi-mode trains reach Stalybridge

At 1714, arriving three years and nine minutes late on Platform 5 at Stalybridge station was the 1531 train from Southport to Stalybridge. Though the journey itself seems far from headline-grabbing, the kind of rolling stock and its delay is even more so.

Instead of the usual Class 150 Sprinter unit, the 1531 was operated by 769 442. The four-car unit is one of eight Northern trains that are bi-mode units.

Continue reading “‘Bridge Bi-Mode Breakthrough”