17. A future girl, she wants a future boy (who knows the Greater Manchester Transport bus network like the back of his hand).

Teen Travel Club leaflet cover (1984)

Greater Manchester Transport’s leaflets were real gems as far as graphic design is concerned. Though the hairstyles have changed course in the last 30 years, this leaflet still stands up well against contemporary works.

The Teen Travel Club, launched in 1983, offered working teenagers a cheaper way to travel by bus in Greater Manchester. Prior to then, 16 – 18 year olds would only be given reduced rate travel if they attended college on a full time basis. It was an initiative to lure 16 – 18 year olds away from the car. Cheaper fares were available by means of a Clippercard. As this penalised more regular users, this was complemented by the 16 – 19 Pass, a weekly season ticket launched in 1986. Today, The Teen Travel Club is no more, absorbed by System One Travelcards’ range of weekly and monthly Young Persons’ season tickets. Validity has since been extended from 19 to 21 years of age.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Another Oldham Corporation route, this time the short 17 service from Royton Town Hall to Shore Edge [Shaw]. It assumed the guise as route 17 in 1966 after being the F bus, and was operated by single decker vehicles. On renumbering in 1973 it became the 417 route. It forms part of today’s 408 and 428 services from Stalybridge and Oldham operated by First Manchester.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Our Bus Route of Christmas Present is one which the quartet in the above leaflet would have had no problems finding. It is the frequent 17 service from Rochdale to Middleton and Manchester (Shudehill Interchange). The people on the leaflet cover, probably married with children, would have more 17s to play with than in 1984. Today’s service sees First Manchester’s 17 (frequent at every 7 – 10 minutes) competing with JPT Travel and Eurobus’ short workings from Manchester to Middleton.

S.V., 17 December 2011

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