Down Our Street #1: Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne

The start of a new regular feature on East of the M60

In 1999, there used to be two free newspapers cluttering up our buses. As well as today’s Metro, there was also the Manchester Metro News. Just to confuse things, there was already a Manchester Metro News doing the rounds in South Manchester before becoming the South Manchester Reporter – incidentally, both printed by the Guardian Media Group. For a brief period, the Metro published by Associated Newspapers was known as News North West (bearing the moniker of Northwest Tonight’s lunchtime bulletin back when Northwest Tonight was Look North West). As a compromise, the Manchester Metro News morning freesheet was merged with Associated Newspapers’ title with the GMG’s adverts and jobs sourced from the Manchester Evening News.

The defunct free newspaper had an excellent feature which looked at the history behind local streets. In each edition, readers were treated to 100 words or so of prose on, for example, Hanging Gate or Withy Grove.

Today, almost 13 years on, East of the M60 thought it was a good idea to revive this feature. Whereas Tameside, Oldham, Stockport and Rochdale street names were under represented in the aforementioned journal, EotM60 has decided to right this wrong.

Our first street was partly modelled on one in London. Continue reading “Down Our Street #1: Stamford Street, Ashton-under-Lyne”

A Cheesy Tunes Case Closed: Whatever Happened to The Scoop

Long time mystery solved as to the whereabouts of an obscure group

Namechecked on this blog and the creator’s other social networking accounts more often than is necessarily healthy is a certain new wave band from Chippenham, Wiltshire.

Another pet subject of his involves the whereabouts of an obscure band which featured on his cherished copy of Chart Hits ’81. A fellow commuting friend introduced him to the band by means of a lovingly constructed mixtape, handed over to him one morning at Stalybridge railway station. Continue reading “A Cheesy Tunes Case Closed: Whatever Happened to The Scoop”

National Survey Sees Stagecoach Holdings as Cheapest UK Bus Operator

Perth giant singled as UK’s cheapest bus company.

Dennis Trident 2/ALX 400, Magic Bus/Stagecoach in Manchester, W638 RND, Piccadilly Gardens

Weeks after an independent survey singled out Stagecoach Manchester as the cheapest Mancunian operator, a national survey further confirmed these findings. TAS, a transport consultancy based in Preston, Lancashire, stated that Stagecoach passengers paid on average 17.5% less for their weekly tickets compared with their competitors.

Continue reading “National Survey Sees Stagecoach Holdings as Cheapest UK Bus Operator”

Operator Revisions on Former SpeedwellBus Services

Replacement operators for former SpeedwellBus services

Dennis Dart SLF, SpeedwellBus, VU02 TTZ, Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station
In happier times: SpeedwellBus Dennis Dart SLF VU02 TTZ laying over at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station.

Regrettably, East of the M60 announced the demise of SpeedwellBus over the last two days. The last week has been populated with rumours as to whom their routes would be taken over by, with reports of Stott’s taking on the 343 or Stagecoach Manchester running the 202.

Over the last 2 days, the new arrangements have been confirmed and are as follows:

  • 202  (Hyde – Hattersley – Glossop): all journeys operated by Stagecoach Manchester;
  • 341 (Hyde – Backbower – Hattersley – Charlesworth – Glossop): all journeys operated by Stott’s of Oldham;
  • 343 (Hyde – Mossley – Oldham): weekday daytime journeys operated by Stagecoach Manchester with slight retimings to SpeedwellBus’ timetable: JPT Travel and First Pioneer journeys remain unaffected;
  • 394 (Stepping Hill – Charlesworth – Glossop): all journeys operated by Centrebus;
  • 395 (Ashton-under-Lyne – Limehurst Farm): all journeys operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach;
  • 396 (Ashton-under-Lyne – Newton Heath): all journeys operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach.

All details may be subject to change with most services operating to the timetable inherited from SpeedwellBus. If anyone can fill me in on the 188, 342 and 344 routes, please comment in the usual fashion. Feel free to discuss vehicle allocations and changes to the timetable.

Postscript: 1. Service Updates, weekdays and Saturdays from 23 January 2012:

This supersedes all previous information:

  • 188 (Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Ryder Brow): Friday and Saturday journeys are operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach. This does not affect the separate Manchester [Shudehill Interchange] – Chadderton route (confusingly also operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach and sharing the same number);
  • 202  (Hyde – Hattersley – Glossop): full service operated by Stagecoach Manchester apart from three journeys during peak hours;
  • 341 (Hyde – Backbower – Hattersley – Charlesworth – Glossop): all journeys operated by Stott’s of Oldham;
  • 342/344 (Hyde – Backbower Circular): all journeys operated by Stott’s of Oldham;
  • 343 (Hyde – Mossley – Oldham): weekday journeys operated by Stagecoach Manchester: JPT Travel [Saturday] and First Pioneer [evenings and all day Sunday] journeys remain unaffected. All timetables and routes remain unchanged;
  • 394 (Stepping Hill – Charlesworth – Glossop): all journeys operated by Centrebus;
  • 395 (Ashton-under-Lyne – Limehurst Farm): all journeys operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach;
  • 396 (Ashton-under-Lyne – Newton Heath): all journeys operated by Bluebird Bus and Coach.

Please note that the 341, 342, 344, and 394 – 396 route have no Sunday service and evening journeys. (Updated from 20 January 2012)

Postscript: 2. Update on StuartVallantine.co.uk (or shameless plug):

The History of the 343‘ article has since been updated to reflect latest developments affecting the route.

Postscript 3: Manchester Evening News article:

Transport bosses promise bus services will continue as Hyde-based Speedwell folds‘: M.E.N., 24 January 2012.

S.V., 19 January 2011.

Tameside Bus Service Changes, Winter 2012: First Take Over Denton Route

A mere tinkering about with changes to peak hour services and one operator change

Dennis Trident/Alexander ALX400 17616, V616 DLA, Stagecoach in Manchester, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

  • First Manchester gain 335 from JPT Travel;
  • Minor peak hour timetable changes for 217 – 220 buses;
  • Extra morning journeys on 216.

The bulk of 2012’s service changes involve peak hour timetable tweaks with Stagecoach Manchester’s services affected by this. Most of which affect services along the Ashton New Road and Ashton Old Road corridors. Continue reading “Tameside Bus Service Changes, Winter 2012: First Take Over Denton Route”

Official: Stagecoach in Manchester The Cheaper Way to Town

Independent and company studies single out Stagecoach Manchester as a cheaper alternative to the car.

If you travel each day to Manchester city centre, say about six miles from home, the cheaper option to Town may surprise you.

If you wish to find a decent parking space in the city centre, it may cost you a small fortune, particularly if you’re the only person driving. You could of course park a mile from town, but this option is far from convenient for the shops or the office. Instead, you may give up and consider shopping at The Trafford Centre, or anywhere else which offers free parking.

There is another way, a cheaper one which enables you to reach the city centre. If you live in Stockport, Tameside and South Manchester, you’re in luck. Continue reading “Official: Stagecoach in Manchester The Cheaper Way to Town”

East of the M60’s Other Road to Wembley Part #2: FA Trophy Second Round Results

That’s it for another season… (at least for our clubs East of the M60)

For our sides East of the M60, it is game over for us in this competition as our only representative Stalybridge Celtic crashed out to Guiseley.

Continue reading “East of the M60’s Other Road to Wembley Part #2: FA Trophy Second Round Results”

East of the M60’s Other Road to Wembley Part #2: FA Trophy Preview

Groundhog Day for the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic.

Where did Christmas go? Three derbies and one point out of nine for the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic, a pulsating 3 – 3 draw at Tameside Stadium between Curzon Ashton and Mossley and the small matter of a transfer to Scunthorpe United.

Amid the hubris, the ‘Bridge recorded a memorable 2 – 1 victory against Stockport County in an F.A Trophy First Round Replay. A last minute goal from Connor Jennings guaranteed the Mighty Stalybridge Celtic their fifth clash against Guiseley in a year, and their third trip to Nethermoor within that period.

Continue reading “East of the M60’s Other Road to Wembley Part #2: FA Trophy Preview”

The Westhoughtonian Question: Devolution for Northern England Anyone?

Could the Autumn 2014 Scottish independence referendum pave way for a future Northern English Parliament?

In September 1997, I was on my way towards seeing my late Grandma in Oldham. Prior to meeting her at The Spindles Shopping Centre, I wearily boarded the 409 with a copy of the Daily Record in my hand. I was tired after listening to the Scottish Devolution referendum results on BBC Radio 5 and happy for Scotland. To me, its citizens were kindred spirits: they were shafted by Thatcher following the early introduction of the Poll Tax and squandering of the North Sea Oil revenues on unemployment and taming the trade unions. In earlier times, the Highland Clearances saw the current cabinet’s ancestral predecessors. Continue reading “The Westhoughtonian Question: Devolution for Northern England Anyone?”

Reality Estates That the Heroes Got: St Mary’s Estate, Oldham

The first of a new series on East of the M60 about flawed yet well meaning housing estates

In 2012, it shames me to think that social housing contracts have reached an all time low – last year saw a 99% drop on 2010 figures. Some time in the 1960s, Labour and Conservative (yes, you did read that right, Conservative) councils and governments prided themselves on the amount of council houses. The start of the 1960s saw modernism adopted en masse as tower blocks sprouted in and around towns. As concrete supplanted bricks and terraces, the white heat of building technology was met with initial praise.

Continue reading “Reality Estates That the Heroes Got: St Mary’s Estate, Oldham”