More Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect 10

Since I wrote the first instalment of Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester, there has already been a favourable response in terms of comments and visitor numbers. This has prompted me to continue the series further. With the fluid nature of post-deregulation bus operations from 1986, it has made for fascinating reading and jogged a few memories of those who have almost forgotten the routes.

Once more, East of the M60 has dug another ten lost bus routes within the Greater Manchester area. This time, our starter for ten is as follows. Once more, the asterisk symbolises the ones I have boarded in the past:

  • 424: Manchester – Newton Heath – Failsworth – Fitton Hill – Ashton-under-Lyne*;
  • 1A: Ashton – Newton [Bradley Green] – Hyde*;
  • X35: Hyde – Glossop (Express);
  • 762: Glossop – Hattersley – Denton;
  • No number: Macclesfield – Glossop – Stalybridge;
  • 336: Park Bridge – Ashton-under-Lyne;
  • 300: Ashton town service;
  • 201: Manchester – Macclesfield – Derby*;
  • 562: Oldham – Ripponden – Halifax*;
  • 342: Ashton-under-Lyne – Stalybridge – Hyde (via Yew Tree).

1: Manchester – Newton Heath – Fitton Hill – Ashton-under-Lyne (424):

Mayne of Manchester was no stranger to the deregulated environment. The company survived the original spell of bus deregulation in the early 1930s and by 1987 started running services away from Ashton New Road. One of Mayne’s first forays into post-deregulation bus operations was the 424 route from Ashton-under-Lyne to Fitton Hill.

This was launched in early 1988 using Bristol VRTs. The latter part of the year saw its Daimler Fleetlines become regular visitors. It was probably the first time that any of Ralph Bennett’s own designs infiltrated Keswick Avenue and Fir Tree Avenue (albeit his London Transport DMS class vehicles rather than the Mancunian style Atlanteans). By the following year, the service was extended to Manchester.

What happened next? The 424 service was withdrawn in 1996, replaced by the 434 (operated by First Manchester). In 2001, this service was withdrawn and renumbered 396 when operated by Vale of Manchester. From 2004 to 2012, SpeedwellBus have operated this route, along with its sister route 395 (Ashton – Limehurst Farm estate). Since September 2019, it had absorbed the 395 with Stott’s Tours taking over from MCT Travel. It also serves Higher Hurst and Smallshaw.

With the demise of the 393 route (hence the Hurst diversion), it gained evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday part route journeys up to Limehurst Farm Hurst. These were operated by MCT Travel prior to the 18 April 2020. Following HCT Group’s retreat from Greater Manchester (and its cessation of MCT Travel operations), Stagecoach took over.

2: Ashton-under-Lyne – Dukinfield – Hyde (via Bradley Green) (1A):

In 1993, GM Buses, then months away from its split saw competition from private bus owning groups and independents alike. Tameside was no exception, with many benefiting from the closure of the Whitelands Road depot. One of them was Pennine Blue, whom in 1993 was bought out by Badgerline. A year after, competition between them and GM Buses saw the inception of the 1A route.

Whereas GM Buses’ minibus service 1 from Ashton to Hyde followed the 343 route up to Dukinfield Arms, and continued to Ashton via the Albion Hotel and King Street, Pennine’s served Bradley Green Road. Both the 1 and 1A also stopped at the Morrisons superstore forecourt in Dukinfield. Unlike the 1 which used Ashton bus station, the 1A actually terminated at nearby Gas Street, outside the Beau Geste pub and near the shopping precinct.

What happened next: the 1A was withdrawn in 1995, after Pennine took over the 1 route. With an hourly frequency, the route continued till 1999 when it was merged with the 40 route to form the 41, continuing to Hyde via Yew Tree estate. The Yew Tree to Hyde section of the 41 was withdrawn in 2004. This was became part of the 387 route, which followed the 389’s route up to Yew Tree. In April 2007, the 387 was withdrawn.

3: Hyde – Glossop (X35):

In 2003, Stagecoach Manchester still operated a direct route from Manchester to Glossop via Hyde and Hattersley, in the form of an extended 201 service. With reliability a problem, their answer was an express service between Hyde and Glossop which began operating in October 2003.

This was achieved by the curtailment of the Glossop 201 to Hattersley, and its replacement being peak hour service X35. This followed the 201 route to Hattersley then continued via Broadbottom, Charlesworth and Gamesley before reaching Glossop.

What happened next? Unusually for Stagecoach Manchester, this service was quite short lived. It was withdrawn in March 2005. Speedwell’s 239 and 341 services from Stalybridge and Hyde followed the old X35 route. The latter route replaced both the peak hour X35 and other Stagecoach service 397. Today, Stott’s Tours’ 341 route is the only bus route between Hyde and Glossop – and a pretty meandering one at that.

4: Glossop – Hattersley – Denton (762):

Another odd peak hour working out of Glossop came courtesy of the 762 route. This ran on a weekdays basis, coinciding with the shift patterns of Bentwood Lingerie works, and called at Hattersley before terminating at Denton.

The 762 was purely a works service. It did not feature on bus stop flags and on information panels within the GMPTE boundary. However, it did appear in Derbyshire County Council’s Peak District Timetable and, for its short life, was operated by Glossopdale Bus Company.

This was complemented by the 761 and 763 routes. The 761 followed the 394 route down to Marple. The 763, which we had erroneously referred to as the 762 on this blog, went to Ashton-under-Lyne, following the 237 route.

What happened next? April 1999 saw the acquisition of Glossopdale’s route by Stagecoach Manchester. All three services were withdrawn in October 1999. In 2003, a planning application was made to Derbyshire County Council for the works’ conversion to apartments. Today it houses a Travelodge hotel, a branch of Peacocks (with a party wall to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill) and The Smithy Fold – a popular addition to J.D. Wetherspoon’s burgeoning empire.

5: Stalybridge – Macclesfield (Parkside Hospital):

Even more obscure (and probably the most obscure one of this article) was an unnumbered service from Stalybridge – Macclesfield, Parkside Hospital via Glossop. Parkside Hospital, on the outskirts of Macclesfield was a mental hospital serving the North East Cheshire area. This service operated once weekly with departure times connecting with hospital visiting times.

The service was operated by North Western Road Car Company and was inherited from them by SELNEC (who took over their routes in North East Cheshire), and remained unnumbered after their 1973 – 1974 renumbering programme.

What happened next? The Government’s Care in the Community (1983 Mental Health Act) put paid to this route as the hospital itself closed. On the site of the hospital is a housing estate, which is a short walk from the neighbouring Macclesfield General Hospital. The service was withdrawn around 1986 – 1987, though the section between Glossop and Macclesfield town centre was served by Arriva North West service 60. There is no link between the two towns.

6: Ashton-under-Lyne – Park Bridge (336):

Close to the boundary of Oldham and Tameside is the one time industrial hamlet of Park Bridge. Being noted for its ironworks it brought the world its rivets for the Eiffel Tower. Park Bridge’s prosperity was boosted furthermore by the coming of the OA&GB railway, with a direct service to Oldham, Manchester and Stockport. If only it had some buses!

Park Bridge was first connected by bus from the late 1950s by Ashton Corporation’s number 6 route. Journeys were timed to suit shift patterns with extra journeys on market days at Ashton market. The inception of the bus service came about after the Oldham, Ashton and Guide Bridge railway line closed to passenger traffic in 1960. The service continued as the 336 after 1973.

What happened next? The service was renumbered 341 in 1980, and withdrawn in 1985. In November 1988, GM Buses chose to resurrect the Park Bridge link with a minibus service via Keb Lane. Since then, Park Bridge has remained a bus free zone (with the 409 and 419 routes requiring a lengthy walk from the hamlet).

7: Ashton-under-Lyne town centre shuttle (300):

Since the end of 2008, Stockport and Bolton have boasted free Metroshuttle style town centre buses. Before then, Ashton-under-Lyne had its own short lived shuttle service, in the form of the 300.

Operated by First Pioneer, its purpose was a short circular route directing shoppers to the Phoenix Market Hall and the shops on Stamford Street. The route took in Wellington Road, Penny Meadow, St. Michael’s Square, Stamford Street and returned to the bus station via Booth Street and Gas Street. The route launched in 2005 as a free bus service, and for a brief period continued to the Cineworld Multiplex at Ashton Moss.

What happened next? Route 300 was withdrawn in November 2007, weeks before the service would have served its purpose fully (towards Christmas). The Ashton Moss section of the route was scrapped a year earlier after Mayne of Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester diverted the 7 and 217 routes to stop at Lord Sheldon Way. A year later, Stockport’s town centre shuttle service was launched – ironically using the number 300!

8: Manchester – Macclesfield – Leek – Derby (201):

Sorely missed in Greater Manchester are the heady days of the long distance bus services using dual purpose vehicles. Its apogee came in the mid 1960s when North Western Road Car Company operated services to Macclesfield, Northwich and Derby. One example was the 201. This route (in another form) was also inherited by SELNEC after North Western’s North East Cheshire operations were absorbed.

In contrast to the TransPeak route to Derby and Nottingham via Buxton, the 201 followed the route of the 192 up to Hazel Grove and continued to Macclesfield, Leek and Ashbourne before reaching Derby bus station. In the mid 1990s, GM Buses South operated the route using former Charterplan owned coaches.

What happened next? The route was renumbered X1 and operated by First Manchester and First PMT. The service was withdrawn by First in May 2003 (also the same month as the 400 Trans-Lancs Express) and taken over by Trent Barton. The following year saw the service reduced even further: the Manchester to Macclesfield section was no more; the Macclesfield to Ashbourne section was renumbered 107 and taken over by local independent Clowes. The Ashbourne to Derby section became Arriva North Midlands route 108 (also continuing to Mayfield).

From 2005 to 2010, a Sundays only service was operated by D&G Coaches between Stockport and Leek, with Monday to Saturday services between Stockport and Macclesfield operated by BakerBus service 93 (late Arriva Cheshire service 393).

9: Oldham – Ripponden – Halifax (562):

One of the most scenic bus journeys into West Yorkshire was the 562 from Oldham to Halifax. Taking in Denshaw and Rishworth, the route was operated solely by Yorkshire Rider from 1989 to 2002. After then, Yorkshire Rider (with Halifax and Calderdale operations renamed First Halifax) shared the route with First Manchester (from its Oldham and Tameside depots). The service had its roots in Yelloway service 556 from 1987 to 1988 before being operated by Crosville for a short period in 1989.

Common fare on First Manchester journeys from 2002 to 2006 were Northern Counties bodied MCW Metrobuses, formerly used on the 400 Trans-Lancs Express route. In the evenings and on Sunday services, First Calderdale’s single deckers would take over, operating its service on a two hourly basis.

What happened next? The service was revised in 2005 to operate via Royton and Royal Oldham Hospital then withdrawn the following year. Another service, 407, took over the Ripponden Road section between Greenacres and Besom Hill, continuing to Denshaw. In April 2009, the evening service was withdrawn, replaced by a demand responsive transport service.

Today, Nexus Move’s newly upgraded 356 route on operates part of the 562 (pre 2005) route up to Denshaw, also serving the Pennine Meadows estate (Turf Pit Lane to us old-timers). The previous 356 route started life as the Saddleworth Rambler, a route designed to link the northern part of Saddleworth with Greenfield railway station. This route has retained the 407’s hourly frequency, seven days a week. It also takes in the 353, 354 and 355 routes.

10: Ashton-under-Lyne – Stalybridge – Dukinfield (Yew Tree) – Hyde (342):

The 342 has its roots in the part route journeys of SHMD route 11 (numbered 11A) and its successor the 346. Before 1978, the 346 was every 20 minutes between Ashton-under-Lyne and Dukinfield (Albion Hotel), serving Newton (Lodge Street) every 40 minutes, with one journey in between continuing to Yew Tree Lane.

In January 1977, the short journeys of the 346 to Yew Tree, then renumbered as the 342, were withdrawn. This came into effect at the same time as the 346’s absorption of the 350 and 351 Shaw Hall Circular routes. Similarly, the 339 and 340 routes became circulars. In 1981, the number was resurrected to link Ridge Hill estate with Yew Tree estate, following in most part today’s 389 route.

The service followed the 346 route from Cheetham Hill Road up to Newton (Cheshire Cheese), then continued to Hyde via Commercial Street and Halton Street, before entering Hyde bus station via Mottram New Road (passing the Fine Fare hypermarket) and Clarendon Place.

What happened next? The service was withdrawn in 1985. Most of the route was merged with the 389, diverted away from Cheetham Hill Road between the Lodge Hotel and Yew Tree Primary School.

The Ashton – Ridge Hill – Stalybridge section became part of the 389 and remains so to this day. Commercial Street, Newton (Cheshire Cheese – Duke of Sussex) is no longer bus served being at either end of the 346 route. Halton Street too is no longer bus served, being close to stops for the 346 and 201 routes – despite being on a steep gradient. The Fine Fare store is now a Morrisons superstore, and at the time of the 342’s withdrawal, was split to accommodate Do It All (late Fine Fare’s ‘Fix and Fit’ store).

Before I go…

I welcome your comments on these routes mentioned above.

S.V., 06 November 2009.

Last revised on the 19 April 2020.

26 Comments Add yours

  1. JimmyMac says:

    There are some pretty obscure routes in there – I especially like the Macclesfield – Stalybridge one! Just a quick note about the Stockport – Macclesfield service (an old commute of mine): the direct service by BakerBus is still numbered 393, with an alternating 392 service that diverts via Pott Shrigley away from the main A523.

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    1. Ian Revell says:

      When I first came to live in the Macclesfield area, around 1990, there was a route Macclesfield to Holmfirth via Glossop, possibly Sundays only ? but more than that, it was operated by Midland Red from Macc depot. I think it passed to Bowers who split it into two routes, one of which is the present-day Arriva 60 Macc-Glossop.

      Also, I remember the X1 Manchester to Derby was operated by Bostocks of Congleton. The Manchester terminus was in a side street near Piccadilly Station and not Chorlton Street Bus Station. In Macclesfield the local bus operator changed every couple of years it seemed – for a time it was the yellow buses Stevensons of Uttoxeter who ran the prototype Olympian which looked like a VRT from the front. They also had some Irish-registered Leyland Lynxs. My local route was run by Badgerline on Sundays only I think.

      I remember seeing Midland Red buses participating on the 218 Manchester to Stalybridge route from a garage possibly in Tintwhistle ? also East Midland single deckers running the Victoria to Peel Green Salford route possibly from the same depot ? Crazy days.

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  2. Hi Jimmy,

    The first time I knew of the Stalybridge – Macclesfield route was in the first of Transport Publishing Company’s two books on the North Western Road Car Company. It is also stated within GMT’s 1984 leaflet on Hospital Bus Services, and in a 1985 GMT timetable for Glossop area local routes.

    Stuart.

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  3. mh says:

    your long-forgotten bus route articles are a fascinating read! i especially like the glossop routes, makes me feel real nostalgic! do keep up the good work! i cant wait for the next instalment!

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  4. Hi MH,

    Glad to see you like the first two Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester articles. I am also in the midst of a third Lost Bus Routes article. Hopefully you should see that by January 2010 (to coincide with winter’s service changes) or slightly earlier than then.

    Stuart.

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  5. DJ says:

    A couple of extra bits about the 201.
    Stagecoach ran it for a period of time after taking over GM Buses South.
    The 108 service on Sundays is now run by Bakers of Biddulph (as are the 391,392 & 393)

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  6. Yo DJ, thanks for the update on service 108. 🙂

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  7. D9000 says:

    You’re wrong about Park Bridge; the 341 was withdrawn, but in October 1986 it re-appeared, when GMPTE, flush with tender cash, re-instated it as a contract service. (Several other routes that hadn’t seen buses for even longer re-appeared at the same time – Mellor to New Mills comes to mind, e.g.). The revived 341 couldn’t be called a success – as I recall, only one old bloke ever used it! It got culled after about a year, I think.

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  8. Hi D9000,

    Many thanks on the Park Bridge route.

    I remember the Mellor to New Mills route. That was the 363 from Stockport to Marple which continued to New Mills. The 375 has replaced this route up to Mellor, with a more upgraded frequency (once hourly in the daytime).

    Stuart.

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  9. Pete Bradshaw says:

    North Western’s local routes became Selnec Cheshire,but Parkside Hospital routes, Sale,Altrincham Bus Station,Hale,Wilmslow, Alderley-Parkside (formerly 97b) and Stalybridge,Hyde,Woodley cut through to Hazel Grove -Parkside (don’t think that was numbered) were single return journeys operated by National Travel Almost always using i50’s or 160’s, sometimes a Bristol 413 etc.. Before we went “one man” on express services, they were conductor operated and either part of a Liverpool or Blackpool duty.
    We had a decent stand down at Macclesfield ,usually involving a visit to Macc Depot ( Crosville by name, North Western by nature) When we went “one man” they continued to be worked until about 1979/80 when G.M Buses took over ( sounds as though they tied them together) The famous conductor working was when Charlie Gosling the conductor was “held hostage” by an inmate!

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  10. X1 was used more than once! North Western operated a complicated mixture of express,limited stop and local (Leek town ,4p fares) routes on one trip from Manchester to Derby. X1 became 351 after becoming part of National,later it was renumbered 451.It was joint with Trent at Derby, Conductor operated and used as a “sick man’s track” until we went one man,( Trent cursed us for selling them out) it used to be a leisurely affair, but after we went one man it became a bit of a rush, round trip for 7 hours 36. There were three trips a day which went out from Manchester at the same time as what had been X2 Nottingham.
    After one manning, the last trip then “kissed and turned at Leek and bought a Trent car back, they took ours through.
    Stops Chorlton St ( originally Lr. Mosley St) Longsight Library, Mersey Square, Rising Sun ( Pick up only because of Selnec area) from Hazel Grove limited stop to Macclesfield ( Crosville ex NW) remember the famous “whiteley Green turning”? once the conductors finished, no one knew which it was!
    Saturdays , one duty called for us to “Convey parcel of Newspapers from Macclesfield to Leek” this was the M.E.N and came by train from Manchester! days gone by it would have carried on by train to Leek. Crosville operated locally from Macc to Leek, but from Leek to Ashbourne we worked local, we used to pick up at farm gates, remember especially Bradnop, Winkhill,and the Manifold Valley Station at Waterhouses and getting battered on Ashbourne Market day! At New street there was an “invisible frontier” with P.M.T it’s hard to believe that although companies were all nationalised we all ran seperately and “competed” as though we were private! (B.E.T)
    The high spot of the trip as a cab happy driver was the Trent S.O.S being restored at Ashbourne depot, which was then operating by NBC Trent. A leisurely stroll took us to Derby past what was obviously a trolleybus terminus. and into the famous bus station.

    the former X2 was now renumbered 352 which ran via via buxton, bakewell, matlock , ambergate, ripley and ilkeston this became 352,452, and ran through from blackpool as 952 to Manchester (352)”For Nottingham” to (447?) Gt. Yarmouth/ Lowestoft joint with Trent and Eastern Counties The road service licensing in force at the time prevented through running even by national!
    Originally Conductor operated, one conductor would load up to ten duplicates and finish up on the “service car”, a Saturday duty used to be described as Gt. Yarmouth service” the car went through and driver and conductor waited at “Notts” for up to three hours for the balancing working. The route had been heavily contested by Robinson’s of Great Harwood.
    Later the route ran through from Blackpool to Norwich / Great Yarmouth as 952 via matlock belper and Derby and was reputed to be the longest route one manned using ticket machines in England medium 9.99p and long range 19.99p setrights were used.
    The Willowbrook “Tonka Toys” worked the route.

    A lost route? you know some of it as Trent’s “Transpeak”, in effect it replaces the traffic generating parts of X1 and X2.At the other end the X60 / X70/ 952 has vanished to be replaced by Stagecoach X61, a pale shadow of a route.

    Sorry to ramble on,some people have told me we need to remember these things!
    For a real route that’s lost, what about the X49 Glossop to Fleetwood via literally everywhere!

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  11. Hi Pete,

    That is an amazing account of both the X1/X2 routes and the other limited stop routes. I do know myself that the TP has its roots in the X1/X2. Your account of the Parkside routes too was most interesting. If I remember rightly, wasn’t the X49 a Yelloway route?

    I do agree with you on your final paragraph: the history of any bus route or collection of bus routes is a social history in itself. It is one area which shouldn’t be neglected.

    Stuart.

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  12. Hope you had a good christmas? X49 was a joint service which was an extremely busy route at Wakes week, Christmas etc. It was operated by North Western from Glossop Garage, Oldham Garage ( Clegg St) Manchester garage and when things were really busy Duplicated from Stockport and any garage that had things with wheels!
    By the time I was involved from 1974, Manchester worked most of it as National Travel,originally it was another Conductor operated route using one conductor on “The Service Car” working a number of duplicates before finishing up on the service car (they got 3 hours a bus!)
    BUT we borrowed our old buses and drivers from SELNEC at Oldham and Stockport for at least two years! ( as well as Crosville at Macclesfield and Northwich, and Trent at Buxton (occasionally)all old NW depots
    The other companies involved in the joint service were Ribble,Standerwick at Blackpool and of course Yelloway who because of Road Service Licensing had a finger in everything that moved! ( somewhere along the line)
    Yelloway had bought Makinsons at Harpurhey and they also used to do dupes as well as having a hand in the x9.

    The X49 went almost literally everywhere on the way to Fleetwood which is why it was so busy, Glossop Stalybridge Dukinfield Ashton Oldham (Mumps) Hollinwood Chadderton Victoria Avenue Middleton Heywood Bury ( which in those days had a Ribble garage! Bolton (also Ribble) etc.
    We came off it when the “real” Yelloway swapped their London services for “The Lancashire Pool” before coach deregulation 1980 ( no-one seemed bothered when it was us!)
    One of the things that killed all these decent routes is the tachograph and especially the latest reduction of driving time, and spreadover. We also had to stop a few times because we didn’t have toilets then!
    We used to be paid to sit on the beach! sometimes we’d get asked to cover an X60 from Blackpool, do a full duty for them, and still work our own duty back! All legal and very well paid! 55p an hour rising rapidly because of the thing we’ve forgotten most, inflation!

    Hope this isn’t an information overload?

    Speaking of Manchester – Oldham- Bradford see Dave wayman’s book about the X 12! ( North Western begat Ribble! )

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  13. Hello again Pete,

    Again most interesting information on the X49. If I remember rightly (according to my Dad’s recollections) the Old General pub on Crescent Road, Dukinfield was a stopping point – possibly along the X49 route.

    I’ve yet to come across David Wayman’s book on the X12 route which I am equally interested in. I note that he was the last person to drive the said service in November 1980 (as seen on David Beilby’s excellent Saddleworth Buses website – http://saddleworthbuses.fotopic.net/c1728259.html).

    Wishing you a Happy New Year,

    Stuart.

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  14. pete bradshaw says:

    Happy New Year! ( already?!)
    Reading through the site, I had a flash of nostalgia, Remember when the 201/ X1 was operated by Berresfords of Cheddleton? Can’t remember what stage they got involved but must have been post COACH deregulation ( so many people missed the significance of that act!) I saw it a few times approaching Chorlton St. My interest was caught by ex Maidstone and District Leopard/ Duple Commander(?) Also and I believe briefly they operated at least one ex Green Line Reliance on it. Real enthusiasts told me it had air suspension on the front axle and was a horrible ride!

    On the subject of Maynes and Oldham routes at the trial areas stage( before dereg) we operated to Oldham via Roundthorn and round the back of Stotts Garage ( 230?231, 232? we also had 233, 234 and 235)

    We also used to operate a service from Manchester round the back of Curzon Road that finished up at Higher Hurst, (this was when little Gem were operating)
    At that time we didn’t go in to Ashton Town Centre on bus services

    GM was operating another “lost” route the Ashton to Droylsden (392?) which had been Ashton Corporation’s 5 we covered it as far as Taunton Rd then carried on to Broadoak Road turned right to the “Old Ball” and cut across Curzon road , I’m unsure if we had two seperate routes but one went up past the Army pay office , turned right and right again at Higher Hurst shops, turned left and left again.

    Another “lost” route ( tendered!) 239? operated by Maynes was Ashton Bus Station (?) or Stalybridge to Glossop via Dinting and Simmondley, I worked it with a VR and once at least with a fleetline. Simmondley Lane was an interesting test of skill and nerves!

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    1. Hi Pete, and a Happy 2011 for you.

      Berresfords’ operations of the X1/201 is a little before my time. However I am also aware of the 1980 Transport Act myself. There was a private sector consortium known as ‘British Coachways’, which offered through ticketing with independent concerns like Wallace Arnold and Grey Green – offering an alternative – or threat – to the then public sector National Bus Company. Whilst it paved the way for budget operators (i.e Alfa Coaches and David Urquhart Travel), it, sadly, led to the demise of long established names with a loyal local following such as Yelloway.

      There is reference to the trial area services in Mark Hughes’ excellent book on Mayne of Manchester. 231 – 235 were launched on my seventh birthday on the 16th June 1986. The 235 was a Sunday version of the 234, continuing to Uppermill from Top Mossley. The services were as follows:

      231: Manchester – Littlemoss (Express, M – S peak hours; Sunday all stops);
      232: Manchester – Droylsden – Ashton – Hartshead – Oldham (via Roundthorn and Abbey Hills Road);
      233: Manchester – Droylsden – Smallshaw – Hazelhurst;
      234: Manchester – Droylsden – Mossley – Micklehurst;
      235: Manchester – Droylsden – Top Mossley – Uppermill.

      I remember when some services (around the early 1990s) used to terminate outside the Beau Geste instead of GMPTE’s bus station nearby. Some Dennis’ and Pennine Blue services did the same too. Around 1993, some used temporary stands by the TAC Building whilst Ashton bus station moved closer to Wellington Road/Oldham Road, making way for the Arcades Shopping Centre.

      I don’t remember the 392, though I’ve seen some trace of it by the number of GMPTE bus stops being labelled ‘Not in Use’ along Curzon Road. Mayne uses part of the route on its courtesy feeder coaches to Clayton, as part of its excursions programme.

      The 239 deserves a future blog entry in itself. So much has happened to the route during its short life. It is operated by Speedwell Bus between Ashton and Glossop, and its regular rolling stock are Mercedes minibuses. Till recently, the service had a hourly frequency which has been reduced to three return journeys (plus one return journey between Mottram and Glossop, and a weekday only journey to Ashton via Mottram Road), due to Derbyshire County Council refusing to subsidise the route. Simmondley is now served by the 341 from Hyde to Glossop (via Charlesworth).

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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      1. pete bradshaw says:

        The route I remembered later was 382 one got stuck at Littlemoss in the snow of 82 and ended up stranding five of ours!

        A Maynes route that disppeared before it started was the X19 of North Western fame to Barnsley via New Mill , and (?) Holmfirth. quite how busy this was expected to be I still don’t understand. The two X reg tigers with Plaxton “American style” bodies were allegedly bought to operate this. At the time they were starship enterprise, I drove the full length of Mossley Road to Top Mossley and was still accelerating !
        I stress this was at the “everyone knows what no-one knows” stage and we were dying to operate it

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  15. Hello again Pete,

    I wonder if they thought against it at the last minute due to the friction between PTEs (three areas)? In its twilight years, the X19 had three return journeys on Monday to Sunday, except Saturday where there were four return journeys to Doncaster (source: Barnsley and Doncaster Bus and Rail Timetables, September 1980). There was also an hourly service between Barnsley and Doncaster which is covered by today’s 219 route between the two points (not to be confused with our version from Ashton – and I’ve boarded both 219s).

    If you visit David Beilby’s ‘Saddleworth Buses’ site, you will find that the original X19 was withdrawn in March 1981. There was a further attempt by Baddeleys which operated for five weeks as the X20, abruptly finishing on the 26th June 1981 as the company went into liquidation.

    Perhaps it may have been a poisoned chalice, but Greater Manchester’s links with Barnsley are woeful – and are in need of upgrading in whatever form (road or rail). Travel by train involves a change at Sheffield or Huddersfield, which is alright if you wish to enjoy the scenery rather than at speed. By coach, change at Leeds or Sheffield. One source, ‘Old Bus Photos’ claims a 1971 reorganisation of express routes was the kiss of death for the X19/X20 – which were popular services prior to then.

    Bye for now,

    Stuart.

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  16. Nicholas Lawley says:

    The 201 (or X1 as it later became, when Stagecoach reallocated the number to the current Hattersley service) was known as the “Three Counties Route” (the three counties being Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire). Another company who ran it was Shearings.

    Anyway, after de-reg, the service was actually run by under contract to Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire County Councils – IIRC, I think Staffs oversaw the tender with the other two CCs providing their share of the funding. This arrangement was in place until the service’s eventual demise.

    The tendering arrangement would explain why First came off the route and Trent took over – the same being when Shearings, GM Buses and GMS/Stagecoach all had to withdraw the route.

    Basically the brief story is that in 2003, the X1 becomes stopping service 107, running between Derby and Stockport only, but extending to Manchester on Sundays. Late that year, the Mon-Sat service was cut back to Macclesfield.

    At some point later the service was split into the 107 (Derby to Ashbourne) and 108 (Ashbourne to Stockport), with connections being available at Ashbourne. On Sundays, the 108 ran the full route.

    When the 107 was transferred from Arriva to Trent, it was renumbered 1 (later becoming “The One” under Trent Barton’s branding scheme. Recently, The One has been rebranded as “Swift” and merged with the recently-gained (by tender) 409 to form a through route from Derby to Uttoxeter.

    Nowadays, Derby to Manchester via the old 201 route requires four buses involving four different operators – Swift (Trent Barton), 108 (Clowes), 392/393 (Bakerbus), 192 (Stagecoach). On Sundays, the 108 runs in two parts, Derby – Leek (Clowes) and Leek – Stockport (Bakerbus). D&G ran the service from July 2005 until September 2008.

    Postscript (by Nicholas Lawley):
    TM Travel are the current operators of the Sunday 108 between Derby and Leek. Swift launches on 31 Jan 2011, so is currently running as the two separate routes, The One and the 409.

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    1. Hi Nicholas,

      It was a real shame to see the X1/201 fragmented in this way. I remember planning a journey to Leek (in 2004) going that way, and it being a nightmare. At the time it meant catching the Stockport – Macclesfield and Macclesfield – Leek buses, and connections being touch and go with the walk from Harrison Park (Leek Town’s ground) to the centre. Me and my Dad were about to see The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic play them in an FA Cup match.

      In the end, the match got postponed (an allegedly waterlogged pitch) at the last minute and we went via Buxton (199/X18 then X18/train) using our Group Wayfarer ticket. It turned out to be third time lucky for Leek Town as they won after the third attempt to host the match.

      At the time, we were trying to avoid football traffic, the M6, and Hanley Bus Station (I think Stoke City were at home that Saturday). The easy way was, and is even now, a National Express coach to Hanley, then an 18 to Leek via Cheddleton (First North Staffordshire/D&G Coaches).

      The last time I caught the 107 was in 2008 at Macclesfield bus station. We were on the way back from the Sandbach Transport Festival, after catching a 38 from Macclesfield to Sandbach. I need to revisit this run again.

      I remember its [X1/201] demise being on the 23rd May 2003, shortly before the Spring Bank Holiday. In its twilight years, I remember First PMT, First Manchester and its sister First Pennine sharing the route. On a June 2002 return journey I made, they used step entrance Ikarus bodied DAFs with coach style seats. Wright bodied Volvos B10Bs, hitherto used on 400/401 Trans-Lancs Express routes with Superbus branding also featured.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  17. Hi to you gents that have been talking about the old North Western and and other operators.
    I only came across the Website by chance so I would like to add twopeneth to the proceedings.
    As an ex North Western employee I had an interesting life working out their Schedules.
    At present myself and two colleagues are putting together some duties that we have in our possession from the early sixties. This aside just to add to information that has already been given.
    The X49 Route was worked by two garages Oldham & Glossop.
    Glossop Duty 34 worked the 0820 from Glossop to Cleveleys returning at 1835. Stops in Hyde and Stalybridge area were: Stalybridge (Market Street), Dukinfield (Oxford Road), Dukinfield (Astly Street) and Hyde (Greenfield Street). The North Western Car Scedule for this Duty was No 17.
    The Oldham operation was a little different to say the least.
    Duty 48 would leave Oldham with Car No 24 or a Ribble vehicle as follows:
    0900 – 1149 Oldham – Blackpool
    1400 – 1523 Blackpool – Horwich (Bee Hive)
    Change over bus with Ribble Car
    1527 – 1649 Horwich (Bee Hive) – Blackpool
    1900 – 2150 Blackpool – Oldham.

    As for the Manchester to Derby Route 201. This was on a regular driver rota and was worked by Stockport Depot. My son David was on the rota and says the company built up a good patronage. All the drivers were saddened by it’s demise.

    Like

    1. Hi Keith,

      Excellent stuff there. It’s a shame I can no longer go to Blackpool from the Albion Hotel these days. Many thanks also for telling me which pub was used on comfort stops/changeovers for the Blackpool coaches.

      I liked the 201 route when I caught one from Stockport to Leek in 2002. Today’s journey is more finicky with two buses and two different operators (changing at Macclesfield) between the said two points. Or you could get a National Express coach to Hanley and change there for the 18 service (First North Staffordshire).

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

  18. Oxenholme says:

    Hi. My X1 memroies are a tad different, I think. In thr 1960s (and 1970s), my parents and I travelled a few times a year to visit my aunt in Poynton, Cheshire (betwixt Macc and Stockport). She, in-turn, made the return trip a few times a year. Going northwards, we met the ‘bus at its starting point in Derby ‘Bus Station and disembarked at Fountain Place, Poynton (adjacent to Bernie White’s Chemist shop). There were brief en-route stops at Ashbourrne, Leek and Macclesfield ‘bus stations. My Aunt’s journey was a perfect reversal. I remember all the Potteries Motorways Transport (PMT) ‘buses at Leek. However, our service – the XI was a joint operation between Trent Motor Traction (of Derby) and North-Western Road Car Company (of, I think, Manchester ?). Now, my memory may be incorrect in a few details – almost fifty years is a lot of fug in one’s memory – but I am as certain as I can be that the route was called “X1” then, as I remember us calling it that (eg “catch the X1”) and the frontal ‘bus sign bearing “X1 Derby” on it. Now, I feel like a sad old geezer (may be a good reason for that!) but I think my “X1” journey
    designation memory is accurate? Cheers, John – now in Hampshire, UK – but late of Derby (Mother born in Poynton).

    Like

    1. Hi Oxenholme,

      Just to confuse things a little, the X1 regained that number after a stint as the 201, prior to Stagecoach Manchester adopting it for their route from Manchester to Hattersley, hitherto numbered 211 (in 1998). You are also right to point out that it was jointly operated by Trent Motor Traction and the North Western Road Car Company. Its sister route, the X2 [Manchester – Nottingham] is today’s TransPeak route. This has been taken over by High Peak, a newly formed company jointly owned by Trent Barton and Centrebus. Though that route still operates in full, it is split into four sets (as TP1 – TP4), by which points the numerical indicator is changed at Derby to become TP2, then TP3 at Matlock, before leaving Buxton where this changes to TP4. This of course gets around the EU’s 33 mile limit for stage carriage services whilst retaining the route as a whole.

      Sadly, the X1 didn’t have the same good fortune, as detailed in previous comments above.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

  19. pete bradshaw says:

    Saw something I’d “forgotten” on a website the other day! Mayne’s 229 with the green blinds which was the one I described as going to Hazelhurst.

    Like

    1. Hi Pete,

      Mayne’s multicoloured blinds: I forgot about them. It’s a shame multicoloured indicators never took off well. Given today’s LED technology, the scope is there, but orange LEDs tend to be more visible from great distances.

      The 229: wasn’t that one of Mayne’s High Peak Pacer routes launched in June 1986?

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

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