Enviro400, First Greater Manchester, Oldham bus station

First Manchester Strike Starts Tomorrow

‘Reasonable offer’ not good enough for drivers set to strike

This coming Monday, First Manchester’s drivers are set to go on strike over pay and conditions. Over the last two years, Britain’s bus drivers have been at the sharp end of the pandemic through staff absences, sickness and deteriorating pay and conditions. This has been exacerbated by more favourable pay and conditions in the haulage industry.

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Time for a Cross-Boundary Bus Strategy?

England’s deregulated bus network has a fair few cross-boundary routes. Many are conventional stage carriage services where the travel-to-work area happens to be a county or unitary authority away. One example is the 237 route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Glossop via Stalybridge. Another one is the 125, a Stagecoach Gold route between Preston and Bolton.

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We Need to Talk About Flowery Field Station

Is Flowery Field railway station really as bad as the reviews make it out to be?

Firstly, here’s what The Great Travelling Public have said about Tameside’s second newest railway station:

“Absolutely horrible im [sic] from woodsmoor and this platform is absolutely ugly and scruffy”

“proper scally asbo style”

“Name does not reflect the dump”

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Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 26. If All Cities Were Like Milton Keynes

Our second bonus door of East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar

“You and I in a little toy shop, buy a bag of balloons with the money we got…”

We have now come to our true final door of this year’s East of the M60 Advent Calendar. All being well, The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic should be playing Hyde United tomorrow afternoon which partly explains my 99 Red Balloons reference. As well as reminding me of The Voice’s dulcet tones on a match day, it was a red balloon that inspired Milton Keynes Development Corporation’s finest ever advert.

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Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 25. Basildon – Our Town

Our first bonus door of East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar

Before we open the first bonus door, East of the M60 would like to wish its readers old and new a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As you couldn’t get enough of this year’s Advent Calendar, it is only fair that we go to the place where Alison Moyet, Vince Clarke and Martin Gore came from.

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Record Player Stand

S.V.’s Formative Years Festive 50 (1984 – 1985)

The Fifty Tracks of My Years from September 1984 to August 1985

Popular music can take us to a particular point in our lives. It is the soundtrack of our youth, birth, marriage, random bus journey, schooldays or not-so-happier times. Throughout my life, music has played a massive part. You can either see this on East of the M60 in written form, or in my professional capacity with Future Directions CIC on Fun Time Friday.

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Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 24. Stevenage is Wonderful

East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar looks at a fifty-year-old film of a Hertfordshire New Town

Before 1946, Stevenage was a small, slow-growing market town. It was on the Great North Road and a stopping point on London-bound stagecoach routes. After 1946, Stevenage became one of Britain’s first New Towns as per the Abercrombie Report.

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Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 23. Connecting Swindon

East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar looks at The Cable Connection – Swindon’s role in multi-channel television history

The use of cable for broadcasting TV and radio stations is a far from new idea. Though Sky Glass is being presented as a new satellite dish-free idea, cable broadcasting has been with us for near a century. Fibre optic cables have been used for nearly forty years.

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Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 22. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Shopping Centre

East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar looks at a groundbreaking leisure facility in Billingham

Billingham is a town long associated with the chemical industry. Since ICI based their operations in the late 20th Century, its population grew dramatically. The town’s peak was in the 1950s and 1960s when the Billingham and Wilton plants were in full swing. Its town centre was remodelled in the latter decade with a pedestrian precinct and the proud boast of heated pavements!

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Blackpool Postcard

Selling Runcorn By The Pound: 21. Blackpool, Go For It!

East of the M60’s 2021 Advent Calendar looks at a late-1980s/early-1990s advert for Britain’s Favourite Seaside Resort

Long before Energy In Northampton and that song about Milton Keynes in our second Advent Calendar door, there is one town that has got self promotion off to a fine art. One that is a product of the railway age and over a century’s worth of cooperation between the public sector and private enterprise. We are talking a place that sees more visitors than the Algarve, whether they arrive for the day, a week or a fortnight.

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