East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 16 December 2011

16. An Arriva North West Alexander bodied DAF DB250LF

DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400, T296 FGN, Arriva North West, Piccadilly Gardens

Arriva North West’s DAF DB250LF joined Wythenshawe depot via London (hence the staircase position). On first glance, it could be mistaken for a Dennis Trident – given the similarity of the Alexander bodywork seen on Stagecoach Manchester’s Tridents. This example is loading at Piccadilly Gardens. On leaving the city centre, it will take a circuitous route into Altrincham via Whalley Range, Ashton-on-Mersey and Brooklands.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Oldham – Mossley (Brookbottom). Oldham Corporation’s 16 route entered Top Mossley via Lees Road and Grotton, starting from the Town Hall bus stop. In 1973 – 74, it was renumbered 416. On the 20 July 1980, it was absorbed by an expanded 343 service, offering Grottonians a direct route with Bottom Mossley, Stalybridge and Hyde.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Arriva North West’s 16 route is a Goliath among Altrincham to Manchester routes (65 minutes compared with 50 on the 263 and 25 on the tram). On Monday to Friday, the service is operated every half hour along its full length, with two evening journeys from Altrincham operated by Finglands (three from Manchester). These are operated daily. By contrast, Arriva’s Saturday service only operates up to Sale! The Sunday service covers the full route, albeit every two hours with Finglands the sole operator.

S.V., 16 December 2011