East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 05 December 2011

5. A Network Warrington Marshall bodied Dennis Dart

Network Warrington Marshall bodied Dart

The Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Dart has had its critics since the first examples hit our streets in 1998 – 99. Early operators of this single decker throughout Greater Manchester included Mayne of Manchester. They were a staple of the 171/172 (Newton Heath – Withington) routes and the evening 220 service from Stalybridge to Manchester. Stagecoach Manchester inherited them from Mayne in February 2008 with them seeing regular service on the 11 (Altrincham – Stockport) and the 7 (Ashton-under-Lyne – Droylsden – Reddish – Stockport) routes.

Today, the Marshall Capital bodied Dennis Darts remain a regular feature of Network Warrington’s operations (seen above on Stamford New Road, Altrincham). In Tameside, SpeedwellBus’ examples were recently seen on the 343 (Oldham – Mossley – Hyde) route.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Droylsden – Ashton-under-Lyne – Smallshaw. Operated by Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation, this service had a basic hourly frequency with extra journeys (bringing the service to every half hour) on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ashton’s 5 route is covered by today’s 393 (Ashton – Smallshaw), 168 and 169 (Ashton – Chorlton-cum-Hardy/Southern Cemetery) services, with three different operators (JPT Travel and Stagecoach Manchester on the 168/169, First Manchester on the 393).

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Network Warrington’s 5 route from Altrincham to Warrington. Running every half hour till 2000 hours, it takes in Dunham Massey and Lymm. There is no Sunday and Bank Holiday service (the 37A/38 offers that facility during the daytime, albeit at a modest hourly frequency).

S.V., 05 December 2011