21. An Oldham Corporation Roe bodied Leyland Titan PD2/20

Oldham Corporation Leyland Titan PD2/20, NBU 494, Museum of Transport, CheethamThe Leyland Titan PD2/20 was pretty much a part of late 1950s and early 1960s Oldham Corporation operations. Some survived well in to the SELNEC era.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Chadderton – Oldham – Fitton Hill. By the late 1950s, the 21 took in the then new Fitton Hill estate. In 1973, it was renumbered 421; in 1986, whilst in that guise, the Chadderton (Whitegate Lane) terminus was changed, extended to Moston (Gardeners Arms). Today, the Moston – Oldham section of the 421 is now served by the 81 service from Manchester – Derker with Oldham – Fitton Hill served by an upgraded 425 service. To accommodate this, the 421 and its sister route, the 423, were withdrawn with the current replacement operating from Fitton Hill to Oldham and Holts Estate.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: appropriately for the shortest day of the year, I have chosen one of the shortest bus routes in Greater Manchester. Operated by Manchester Community Transport on Monday – Saturdays, and Go-Goodwins on Sundays, the 21 from Altrincham to Warburton Green takes 12 minutes to reach the two points. The Monday – Saturday route in full continues beyond Warburton Green to Timperley, taking 28 minutes. It also has one of the oddest service frequencies in Greater Manchester – every 68 minutes (the shorter Sunday service is every hour)!!!

S.V., 21 December 2011

5 thoughts on “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 21 December 2011

  1. At 12 minutes, I wonder if the Sunday 21 is the shortest bus route in Manchester, excluding possibly Metroshuttle routes?

    Back in the 1950s, North Western ran an hourly 201 from Moss Vale Rd in Davyhulme to Urmston Rail Station via Canterbury and Crofts Bank Roads. the full single journey took 5 minutes, and the bus had done the return trip in 12 minutes This surely must be one of the shortest bus routes in history. I expect that most users of such a short service would have been the elderly, of course this is in the days pre-Ring & Ride and pre-mass car ownership. Needless to say, there is no comparable service today!


    1. Hi Rob,

      You’ve found a real gem in terms of short bus routes (possibly forming the genesis of a future post): they allow 5 minutes from Dukinfield [Albion Hotel] to Stalybridge [Bus Station] on the 343 route.

      The closest modern day example for Shortest Stage Carriage Route in Greater Manchester I can think of is the 183 from Oldham to Limeside. 15 minutes is allowed each way.

      Another First Manchester/First Pioneer route, the 393, takes 20 minutes to complete the entire circular run from Ashton-under-Lyne via Smallshaw.

      I would say the reason for fewer short routes nowadays could be due to vehicle efficiency. It is more profitable to amalgamate two or more short routes to form a longer one. As well as offering more through journeys for passengers, less drivers and vehicles are needed. For example, the 41 from Dukinfield to Ashton has since been extended to Crowhill in the daytime, absorbing the 337 route in the process. Though the 41 and 337 were two separate routes, the same bus was used. Result: through connection with Crowhill and Dukinfield and less layover time.

      Bye for now,



  2. Hi Stuart,

    The shortest route I can think of is the 246 Altrincham to Bowdon Vale – its circular route (Altrincham to Altrincham) is 20 minutes, however it is only 10 minutes to Bowdon Vale and 10 back from Bowdon Vale to Altrincham. The 13 to Oldfield Brow is also a similar example. I suspect the longest route is indeed the 22.




  3. Hi Rob,

    It is funny you should mention the 246 [Altrincham – Bowden Vale]. It is mentioned elsewhere within this blog as it had amalgamated with the 13 [Altrincham – Oldfield Brow], one of our Bus Routes of Christmas Present!

    22 the longest route? I would say the 184 from Manchester to Huddersfield via Oldham and Uppermill and the 217/218 circular routes from Shudehill Interchange via Droylsden, Ashton, Mossley, Stalybridge and Dukinfield are pretty close.

    Bye for now,



  4. Regarding the 81 being the replacement for 421 from Moston-Oldham I have to disagree, the 81 is the actual replacement for 423 Moston-Oldham as 421s route from Moston was Owler Lane, Mough Lane, Broadway, Eaves Lane, Thompson Lane, Fields New Road/Denton Lane, Block Lane, Lincoln Street (when Lincoln Street was 2 way), Oxford Street, Manchester Road (when Oxford Street was 2 way).

    I only now the above as when I was younger it was one of 2 routes I used to catch to Oldham the other being 415 Middleton-Higginshaw (now Holts) and if I remember rightly from Chadderton-Oldham it meant a bus every 15mins with 415 every 30mins and 421 being every 30mins.

    Another bit of interesting info about the 421 was that in the early 90s I think it was, it was actually extended to run Manchester Piccadilly-Fitton Hill, if I remember the route was present day 81 from Manchester-Ben Brierley then Kenyon Lane, Joyce Street, St Marys Road, Nuthurst Road, Lightbowne Road, Hollinwood Avenue and then back onto 421 route


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