Oh No, More Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect Ten

Another ten lost bus routes of Greater Manchester

Mercedes-Benz Vario, R269 XDA, Alexander ALX 100 body, SpeedwellBus, Ashton-under-Lyne
Another Lost Bus Route and a lost operator: the 239 when operated by SpeedwellBus. (Slated for a future episode of Lost Bus Routes on this blog).

It has been a while since East of the M60 had a Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester round up. Without further ado we brandish our SaverSeven and board any of the following routes:

  • 261: Brooks Bar – Stretford;
  • 160: Oldham – Delph – Huddersfield;
  • 38A: Altrincham – Lower Peover;
  • E69: Altrincham – Holmes Chapel;
  • 123: Mottram-in-Longdendale – Charlesworth;
  • 500: Manchester – Alderley Edge;
  • 91: Bury – Ordsall;
  • 196: Glossop – Tintwistle – Mottram-in-Longdendale – Charlesworth circular;
  • 428: Hattersley – Hyde – Ashton-under-Lyne – Newton Heath – Manchester;
  • 1/1A: Audenshaw – Dukinfield (Globe Square) – Ashton-under-Lyne/Newton (Cheshire Cheese).

There seems to be a slight North Western Road Car Company/National Bus Company theme to our latest instalment, so we may be unable to use our passes outside the Greater Manchester boundary.

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1. Brook’s Bar – Stretford (261):

For many people of a certain age, the number 261 was Piccadilly Radio’s AM frequency. In 1974, it was also a weekday and Saturday service between Brook’s Bar and Stretford Arndale Centre. For Moss Side residents, it assumed the guise as a shoppers’ service to the Original Trafford Centre (EotM60 shibboleth for Stretford Arndale by the way…) in its toilet tiled glory. It operated every half hour between 0930 and 1630 with a 90 minute break for dinner. There was extra journeys on Saturdays (till 1756), and Thursdays and Fridays till 2026 for late shopping.

What Happened Next? Withdrawn. Most of which forms part of today’s subsidised 54 route and Stagecoach Manchester’s 15 route from Manchester to Flixton. Today’s 261 is a circular route in Sale operated by Diamond Bus North West.

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2. Oldham – Delph – Huddersfield (160):

At one time, there was two bus routes between Huddersfield and Oldham. One was operated by local independent company Hanson’s Buses Limited and went via Uppermill. Another one, the 160, was operated by North Western Road Car Company. North Western’s route took in Waterhead, Scouthead and Delph, shadowed by sister routes 13 and 14, and today’s 350 route to Oldham and Ashton. From Delph, it would reach Huddersfield via Bleak Hey Nook. There was three return journeys during weekdays with five on Saturdays.

What Happened Next? The service was withdrawn in 1970, leaving Hanson’s route as the sole Oldham – Huddersfield service. At the same year, Huddersfield Corporation took over Hanson’s before becoming Metro West Yorkshire’s 65 route in 1974 and ultimately today’s 184 service between Manchester and Huddersfield. In more recent times, the 184 has been curtailed to operate from Oldham to Huddersfield on weekdays and Saturdays.

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3. Lower Peover – Altrincham (38A):

The 38A from Altrincham to Lower Peover was a part route working of NWRCC’s 38 service from Manchester to Holmes Chapel service, and its more frequent counterpart. The 38 had four return journeys between Holmes Chapel and Altrincham with the last northbound journey terminating there instead of Manchester. The 38A had ten return journeys between Altrincham and Knutsford with some continuing to Lower Peover. On Sundays, there was six southbound journeys with five northbound journeys between Knutsford and Altrincham.

What Happened Next? Possibly revised and renumbered as today’s successor, the 89, which operates between Knutsford and Altrincham via Knutsford. Previously operated by GHA Coaches, this service only has four return journeys and no Sunday and Bank Holiday service. After the demise of GHA Coaches, D&G Bus – now a Centrebus subsidiary – took over the route in 2016.

Between Altrincham and Knutsford, Northern Rail’s service to Chester is often a better option.

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4. Altrincham – Holmes Chapel (E69):

Whilst we stay in Altrincham, the North Cheshire town had a number of limited shoppers’ services from outlying villages. One example was the E69 from Holmes Chapel. The original service was operated by Crosville Motor Service and as a NBC constituent between Knolls Green and Altrincham, offering passengers enough time to visit its market. There was one return journey on Tuesday (1045 and 1340 arriving 1115 and 1410) and another one on Saturday (1030 and 1230, arriving 1100 and 1300).

What Happened Next? In 2002, it continued to Alderley and was operated by Salford company Midwest. By 2008, it only operated on Saturdays and was extended to Holmes Chapel by then, with Town and District Travel taking over. The beginning of 2011 saw an operator revision with Tomlinson’s Travel taking over. Owing to public sector spending cuts, Cheshire East ceased funding the service which led to its withdrawal on the 9th December 2011. What a nice Christmas present for carless pensioners living in Mobberley (not!).

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5. Charlesworth – Mottram-in-Longdendale (123):

Once more from the vaults of the NWRCC timetable was this short route from Charlesworth to Mottram. More than anything, its main purpose was as a connecting route with the Manchester Piccadilly – Glossop/Hadfield trains at Broadbottom railway station. For a short route, there was 20 return journeys between 0643 and 2247 on weekdays with extra Schooldays only journeys and part route workings. On Saturdays, 21, with the Sunday service boasting 13 return journeys, starting at 1300 and finishing for 2247.

What Happened Next? It became part of the circular 393 route in 1973, shortly after SELNEC’s takeover of NWRCC interests in the PTE boundary and subsequent integration. Today, it forms part of the Hyde – Glossop 341 route with a once hourly frequency. Services between those two points have also been reduced further in the last seven years following the loss of the 239 and 202 routes, and the 341’s Sunday, Bank Holiday and evening journeys.

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6. Manchester – Alderley Edge (500):

Before Greater Manchester Transport launched its 500 route from Bolton to Manchester Airport, there was also another service bearing the same number in 1968. North Western Road Car Company’s 500 service was jointly operated with Manchester City Transport. It offered seven morning peak hour journeys from Wilmslow to Manchester (Chorlton Street) with five going the opposite direction in the evening. Three began from Alderley with two in reverse to Alderley. It was one of a handful of express journeys jointly operated by MCT in the late 1960s which used coaches instead of standard buses along with the Hale Barns Express.

What Happened Next? Withdrawn. Manchester to Wilmslow is no longer covered by bus, thanks to the curtailment of Arriva North West’s 130 service to Macclesfield (which terminates at East Didsbury). Within the Greater Manchester boundary, the 130 is a Lost Bus Route. Since the end of January 2020, the Cheshire section has been taken over by D&G Bus.

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7. Bury – Ordsall (91):

Along with the 94, 95 and 97, the 91 offered the average Whitefielder another link to Salford. In 1996, the 91 offered a 20 minute daytime frequency from Bury via Whitefield, Broughton and Pendleton before continuing to Ordsall.

What Happened Next? It was withdrawn on the 27 May 2003 by First Manchester (also the same date where the 400 and X1 met a similar fate) and replaced by the 95 and 97, which stopped short at Pendleton. Today’s extended 50 route from Pendleton bridges the gap between there and Ordsall, after absorbing Maytree Travel’s MediaCityUK shuttle service.

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8. Glossop – Tintwistle – Charlesworth circular (196):

A real oddity from the NWRCC timetable! This circular route was a night service comprising of a single circular journey from Glossop. It left The Norfolk Arms at midnight, calling at Hadfield (0012), Tintwistle (0016), Mottram-in-Longdendale (0025) and Charlesworth (0039) before returning to Glossop at 0051.

What Happened Next? Probably absorbed by the 393 circular route, though without its night service. There is still a night bus to Glossop, it is a solitary journey on the 219 from Piccadilly Gardens. It departs from Manchester at 0240 on Saturday morning and Sunday morning, arriving in Glossop an hour and three minutes later.

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9. Hattersley – Hyde – Dukinfield – Ashton-under-Lyne – Newton Heath – Manchester (428):

An admin cock-up at the height of bus deregulation led to this service being mistakenly registered in 1989 by GM Buses. There was much competition between them and Citibus up to Hathershaw. In addition to the PTE owned company’s 400, 401, 409 and 410 routes, Citibus’ 419 and 428 vied for passengers along Ashton Road. The likes of Bee Line Buzz Company and Pennine Blue would later run competing 409s to Oldham. On King Street and Dukinfield Road, the 330 was in direct competition with Stuarts’ 333 service from Ashton to Hyde and Hattersley.

One flippant remark suggested that they [GM Buses] should run a 428 from Hattersley to Hyde, Newton Heath and Manchester, shadowing Citibus’ route for the most part and Stuart’s 333 route. What was intended as jest became reality in Spring 1989. Furthermore, there’s photographic evidence to back up this point made herein.

What Happened Next? Common sense ushered in the service’s withdrawal, so Stuart’s Bus and Coach and Citibus Tours slept soundly for about two minutes afterwards. Today, Hattersley passengers wishing to travel to Newton Heath may be better off boarding a 201 to Piccadilly, changing there for a 83 or 84 bus (though a System One pass may be required).

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10. Audenshaw – Dukinfield (Globe Square) – Ashton-under-Lyne/Newton (Cheshire Cheese) (1/1A):

For our last one, we refer to the 1972 SELNEC timetable for this one time SHMD route. Up until the 1980s, the works service would be a common feature of urban bus operations, along with school buses and football specials. Today, the lack of major employers and service industries conspires against this as the need to convey employees en masse at similar times are eroded. Flexible hours also conspire against incumbent bus timetables, hence wider car ownership.

The 1 had one return journey from Ashton-under-Lyne to Audenshaw (Pack Horse), departing at Ashton at 0744, returning at 0806. There was two journeys from Ashton to Dukinfield (Globe Square) at 1653 and 1723 with three the opposite direction departing at 1709, 1710 and 1735. The Saturday service left Audenshaw (Lumb Lane) at 0759, with another journey leaving for the Pack Horse at 0744.

Complementing this, the 1A service had two morning peak return journeys with a solitary evening journey leaving Globe Square for Newton, Cheshire Cheese at 1712.

What Happened Next? The services were allocated numbers in the 700 series in 1973, allocated to work and school services and were probably extended to Park Road Mill. Therefore till 1981 or thereabouts, they may have been contracted work services for International Computers Limited who had a base at Tame Valley. Today, only school services traverse Globe Lane, one of which at one time was the 848, which – at odds with current practice – was displayed on GMT’s bus stop flags during the early 1980s.

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Before I go…

Do you have any memories of boarding or driving any of the above routes? As usual, feel free to comment away. Feel free to dot a few Is and cross a few Ts if you wish.

S.V., 05 June 2012.

Last updated on the 17 April 2020.

30 Comments Add yours

  1. michael Tinker says:

    365 service when Yorkshire rider put those Gold Rider plaxton bodied Leyland Tigers on and also 556 which then became the 562 which interworked the 528/60 services also mainly Leyland Tigers and Leporads aswell I remember going to Halifax 562 on 7207 PTD 649S and 7055 RWU 55 R was coming the other way also Halifaxs Gold Rider coaches 1616/19 had radios in

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  2. Shaun says:

    Remember the 91 without really using it. I think that was either a replacement or a complimentary service for the 92, which ran from the Trafford Centre through to Ordsall then onto Bury via Pendleton, Prestwich and Unsworth (a mixture of the 95 and 93 minus the new Whitefield diversion). This was back in the day when Bury had not one but two bus services to the Trafford Centre in the early days of its opening (the other being an extension of the 300 from Bolton via the 471 route).

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    1. Hi Shaun,

      Well remembered on the 300. I remember boarding the said bus in 1998 before continuing to Ashton on the 400. I think the 91 may well have been a complementary service to the 92. Then again, it may have spun off from the defunct 96 service from Whitefield to East Didsbury.

      The 93 and 95 also partially replaced the much missed 94 from Manchester to Bolton via Whitefield. Today, passengers have to catch a 98 to Radcliffe then board a 524 should they wish to go to Bolton from Whitefield.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

  3. Trystan says:

    I remember when the 91 used to continue to Manchester. First have systematically changed the bus routes beyond belief in some areas. The 94 was a good ride and is missed, so is the 95. First seem to think everyone just wants to go to MANCHESTER, well we don’t! I’d like to get to other areas in GM without having to traverse to Manchester then get another bus or two back out. It is ridiculous. And now TfGM have been handed a pot of money to put the cross city services back on. Why is public money being wasted when the private companies running the buses do what they have done over the years. Cut a route back, then cut it again in the process making it unreliable and unusable hence patronage falls and the route is declared unprofitably and surplus. GRRRR! It was done with the
    9 Blackrod – Horwich- Bolton – Farnworth – Pendlebury – Manchester
    21 Trafford Centre – Manchester via Swinton & Pendlebury
    25 & 27 Bolton – Farnworth – Manchester
    28 Bolton – Pendlebury – Manchester
    29 Bolton/Hag Fold – Walkden – Swinton – Manchester
    30 Farnworth – Manchester
    35 & 39 both Leigh- Swinton – Manchester
    38 Westhoughton/Daisy Hill – Walkden – Swinton – Manchester
    500 Bolton – Manchester Airport
    502 Barrow Bridge – Farnworth
    551, 552 & 553 Leigh – Walkden – Farnworth – Bolton
    554 Bolton – Trafford Centre
    555 Mosley Comman – Bolton
    556 Eccles – Bolton
    558 & 559 Wigan – Bolton
    560 – Bury – Bolton
    Then we had others such as the 90 to Accrington/Rawtenstall and then the well known 300, 400, 401 services.
    I understand that the bus companies wish to concentrate on high frequency hubs but in taking off a lot of the above services it has meant that the services let now have to cover gaps that they left therefore making remaining services even longer.
    Does anyone else remember any of the above services or maybe some others that I can’t think of that have been taken off since 2000, which is when I officially became hooked on public transport and getting about with my ID16.

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    1. Hi Trystan,

      The former GM Buses North area has come off worst thanks to the government’s carve up ‘to improve competition’ in December 1993. So much so that the state of buses in that area have probably had an affect on employment prospects, the state of Rochdale and Oldham town centres, house prices and traffic. Should you take the time to walk across Manchester from Cheetham Hill to Chorlton-on-Medlock, you would notice a real north-south divide in our conurbation. Bury has benefited from the Metrolink and the opening of Oldham’s system this week, may have an affect on local buses along the Manchester Road [A62] corridor.

      I’ve always believed that a sustainable bus network should be run with public service in mind, as is the case in Mainland Europe. Each town should be accessible to all parts of its respective borough with frequent inter-borough and cross-boundary services. Ashton-under-Lyne is well placed in that respect, though there are still a few yawning gaps outside of the loop.

      The 9 to Blackrod doesn’t ring any bells to me, but I have boarded the following:

      • 25: from Farnworth to Bolton using a Manchester Megarider for that journey in 1998 (it was Stagecoach Ribble then);
      • 553: from Walkden to Bolton, on the 06 January 1999 (a year after FirstGroup took over Timeline’s operations which included that route) – as part of a Greater Manchester circumnavigate;
      • 500: from Bolton to Altrincham (ditto the above, albeit anticlockwise in September 1998);
      • 35 and 39: full length from Leigh to Manchester, one occasion on the way back from Hilton Park watching The Mighty Stalybridge Celtic (we lost 2-1 against Leigh RMI but the 39 was very nippy that late afternoon);
      • 90: from Bury to Rawtenstall on a Wayfarer ticket (July 1999), before boarding a 464 to Accrington (and coming back home with tea, coffee and sugar jars from Argos, a pizza cutter and a vinyl version of Supertramp’s 1980 live album ‘Paris’ via Rochdale);
      • 300: one journey, September 1998 from Trafford Centre to Bolton;
      • 400/401: don’t ask – countless occasions between Bolton and Manchester Airport, often commencing at Ashton-under-Lyne.

      The issue regarding gaps and more elongated services is pretty true in my area: the daytime 220/221 is part of a much extended 217/218 service also taking in Stalybridge, Millbrook, Micklehurst and Mossley to compensate for Mayne’s defunct 232 – 235 routes. The 343 (except on Sundays, evenings and Bank Holidays) also covers Hey Farm and Roaches, which offers new links though takes 10 minutes longer than the Sunday route. Even so it is better than the frequent yet mind numbing 409 from Oldham if time isn’t too great an issue for me.

      Furthermore, I wonder if anybody else has linked the rise in rail overcrowding, particularly in Bolton and Wigan, with inadequate bus services? In some cases, the train is cheaper between Bolton to Manchester than it is on First Manchester’s 8 or 36 routes. Could this explain why the average Leythan would rather see trains instead of a guided busway, not least for reliability but also the benefits of fully nationwide through-ticketing? (I would rather have trains, but then again, a busway does have potential for future light rail/heavy rail conversion).

      I received my ID16 pass in 1993: a most interesting year for all the wrong reasons as underpinned in my first paragraph!

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  4. Pete Bradshaw says:

    Reading the info about the 500 service, this was originated in 1959/60 and was originally set up buy North Western to service the overspill estates at Handforth and Lacey Green which were then brand new. North Western was hit by Manchester Corporation with an agreement of 1928(?) which called for their involvement in any future expansion of N-N’s manchester operations following an joint agreement to allow them to pick up inside the Manchester boundary. Dad took me to see the first Manchester Corporation bus to go to Wilmslow since the 1920’s when they operated the famous express routes to fight “pirate operators ” ( Nothing is new only our experience of life)!
    Pre Selnec these were operated by Parrs Wood 3700’s and were conductor operated with the famous “minimum fare” ( not to be confused with minimax)

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    1. Bob Bracegirdle says:

      500 started in Dec 1959. I have the paper flyer for it somewhere. NWRCC had coloured background BET 3 line blinds fitted to the d/d cars that they ran showing 500.

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  5. Pete Bradshaw says:

    E69 was another North Western originated route , these being “lost” to Crosville when NorthWestern was dismembered in 1972.

    The 38 was also a vintage NorthWestern route, and had in its day seen journeys from Manchester to Congleton via Altrincham , Knutsford, Holmes Chapel etc.

    Another lost route is the 39 Manchester to Northwich via Altrincham / Pickmere a decker route which used to do a roaring trade at weekend to the lake ( which in “holidays at home” days was a very popular day out) Does anyone even know where it is now? There are now luxury apartments where the amusements were!

    The 261 became allocated to a service now known as the 16 from Manchester to Altrincham via the Racecourse estate, The “other” North Western operated it from Broadheath depot, another lost company operated tendered journeys ( remember South Manchester with its RE?)

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    1. Hi Pete,

      I wondered why there was a route from Manchester to Alderley Edge, and somehow the overspill estate in Handforth falls into place.

      I do recall the E69 being one of the former NWRCC routes and it transferring to Crosville. There is also another 38, which operates from Crewe to Macclesfield via Congleton. Could that have been a part working of the original full 38 route from Manchester to Congleton?

      I am most familiar with the 16 route, having caught it one evening in 2009 from Altrincham. As for South Manchester, I remember them as former Pennine Blue owners and employees started operations shortly after selling Pennine Blue to Badgerline. They also had a few ex-MPTE Atlanteans, some of which I remember seeing in Pennine Blue’s fleet, having had the joy of boarding one on the 346! With that journey it felt a little strange seeing a mural of the River Mersey and its three graces above the top deck windows.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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    2. Bob Bracegirdle says:

      E69 used to be NWRCC 96 Altrincham to WILMSLOW via Ashley and Mobberley (Victory Hall). Every 90min in the 50s then reduced to two hourly. Ran on Sundays too! Withdrawn early 70s and then came back as the strange E69 to Alderley via Mobberley Village and Brook Lane.

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  6. petebradshaw says:

    That “new” 38 was originally North-Western 24 from Macclesfield to Crewe and has no relationship to the original 38.

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    1. michael Tinker says:

      another one you lot might remember was the 430 that came though Saddleworth and went over to Holmfirth on summer sundays and banks holidays

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      1. The 430: that would have been Greater Manchester Transport’s ‘Saddleworth Link’ launched in 1985 as a Sunday service from Rochdale to Greenfield. GMT also released a leaflet promoting the services and attractions en-route. 1986 saw the service rebranded as ‘Pennine Edge’ and it ran till 1987.

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    2. Yep, that’s correct, Pete. 🙂

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  7. petebradshaw says:

    Happy New Year! Two routes came into view over Christmas because I was talking about this and that. Joint Manchester? Stockport Corporations and North Western 90 to Poynton overspill and Woodford Church remember it starting from albert Square but may have been Chorlton street ( when it was a concrete sheltered BUS station) there was also a parallel working on 89 which was usually worked by Manchester Daimlers (when I saw it) From Stockport there was also a Stockport worked 19 and 20 to Poynton.

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    1. Good shout there, Pete.

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  8. David Wright says:

    First time I have been on here. I thought I would mention a few of my childhood Bus routes long gone. The 28 from Atherton Bag Lane to Walkden, The 33 Walkden ,Little Hulton circular. The 34 Little Hulton Kenyon Way to Farnworth and of course the 90 from Little Hulton Lancastrian to Manchester ( Greengate Arches)

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    1. Hi David,

      Welcome to the blog, hope you’ve liked what you’ve seen up to now. Good calls on the Atherton and Little Hulton routes, which I would assume were Lancashire United Transport ones. Greengate must have been quite a hellish place to catch a bus, in spite of more than adequate shelter from the elements.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

      1. David Wright says:

        Hi Stuart,
        You are right with the Lancashire United Transport shout. LUT were part of my childhood and a good time it was too ! As for the Greengate arches, the first stop under the arches was for the Salford City Transport 3 and 5.The 5 had to travel under the Bridgewater Canal near the Barton Swing bridge and so ‘Salford ‘ bought 2 single decker buses for this route only.

        Regards
        David

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  9. Mike Norris says:

    Hello David, nothing wrong with your memory back to the 70’s, when I drove on LUT at Swinton depot.
    You missed the 3 Little Hulton – Walkden, the 33, as you say, the 34 was Friday/Saturdays only to Farnworth,
    the 90, as you mention, then 31 & the 91 Manchester to Mount Skip. Now then do you remember the 85 from Bolton
    to Little Hulton and the 86 again from Bolton bit to Mount Skip ( these last where replacements put on by Bolton chamber
    of trade when the railway from Walkden to Bolton closed in to 50’s – no I didn’t drive them !
    A note to Stuart, Salford had 9 AEC saloons in the 60’s (102 -110) for their services 4 & 5 ( these replaced in turn Daimlers in the 50’s and AEC’s before them )
    Happy Days,
    Mike

    Like

    1. David Wright says:

      Hi Mike
      The 85 and 86 are well before my time ( Laughs he) but I like the reason they were there. The 27 from the bottom of Hilton Lane to Boothstown finished before I remember them too. With you being a LUT man perhaps you can solve a puzzle for me. I work at Lankro , 34 years now, and I remember spotting a LUT Bus Stop at the Gatehouse, on the Canal Bank, at the bottom of Irwell Avenue in Eccles. The Avenue used to split Lankro in two. I can understand it would be a Works service but do you know any more information on this ?

      Like

      1. Mike Norris says:

        Hi David,
        Lankro Chemicals ? My father also worked for Dr Kroch’s company , from just after the war (his first proper job after his demob) and later became the Foreman pipe fitter welder on the Maintenance team there until his retirement. He was known as Terry and kept the BLUE club open in the Canteen, being hugely outnumbered by the REDs supporters there, In the late 60’s, when I was a teen, he sometimes worked on Sundays and took me along (as the works would be quiet on Sundays) and since the closure of the railway line from Little Hulton to Eccles (mentioned above in my earlier message)(and this is the bit you have asked me about) we went to the top of Hilton Lane on Manchester Road, where out came an LUT works service to Eccles, I don’t remember it going down Bentcliffe Street to the Gate House, but I remember it being Lowbridge Guy No 287 and I couldn’t breathe upstairs on those long seats, for all the men smoking! Later when older, I got a Saturday job there, moving about 200 new empty 45 gall drums from despatch round to the Dalapon plant. Later still on leaving school, I worked for a while at Lankro as a plant scheduler, in the 70’s, again on Dalapon, buying tanker loads of AO & EO chemicals from Shell at Carrington, for making up into the chemicals that Lankro sold. As an aside the Torrey Canyon disaster off Cornwall in 1974 was the best thing to happen to Lankro, as thousands of gallons of ‘off-spec’ ( and un-sellable) detergents were bought by HM Government for the oil spraying there. Hope you find this interesting.

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  10. David Wright says:

    Mike
    Send me an email to davidwright59@gmail.com . If you are a Lankro Man I have some stuff that might interest you.
    I like the 287 story, great memory from you. Incidently, regarding the Number 33 bus mentioned before, do you remember it coming up Peel Lane ( Not Armitage Avenue) turning right onto the A6 then turning right, into the precinct at the LH Cafe ( Now Cyns Tavern). That will test your memory.

    David

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  11. Bob Bracegirdle says:

    Glossop Circular 196 ran at midnight on Saturdays only. In the early 50s it ran during the week at 1145pm as well. Rumour has it that it was a staff bus dropping off crew at the end of the working day.

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    1. Hi Bob,

      Fantastic insight on the 196, though I could see a hint of truth in the rumour, as a way of making best use of resources. Also whilst granting Glossopians a little night service.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

      Like

      1. Bob Bracegirdle says:

        Re 196. Thanks for the response. Yes 1145 MF & midnight SO. NO Sunday service. Interesting parallel was last 29 from Lower Mosley Street to Wilmslow, extended on Saturdays to Alderley and nominally returned dead to Wilmslow Garage but actually the extended journey was to pick up dancers at the Regal ballroom returning to Wilmslow. They all knew about the journey even though not in the timetable.

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  12. Grigore Nandris says:

    Let’s be honest. Who in their right mind would want to travel more than 5 miles in a bus? Buses are cramped and slow. Train use has increased over the years, whilst bus use has declined. In fact many bus routes to Manchester have been withdrawn. For example Westhoughton to Manchester 38. Again who would want to sit in a bus for nearly two hours when they could go on the train even if standing for 20 odd minutes from Westhoughton or Daisy Hill stations??? Buses are awful.

    Like

    1. Hi Grigore,

      I totally agree with you about their slowness though I have been on more cramped trains in my time. In fact I have chosen service buses and trams over parallel train routes for some journeys. More than anything, traffic light intervals instead of repetitive stops are a bigger bus related peeve for me.

      Generally, bus use has declined though I think private motoring has had a greater effect on loadings. Shortly after bus deregulation, train loadings increased in Greater Manchester. Motorists are more likely to continue part of their journey by train, if: (a) the service runs to time and quickly at that; and (b) whether s/he can find suitable parking spaces. If the trains are unreliable or unaffordable, they are more likely to drive the rest of their journey, instead of catching the bus.

      Though bus patronage fell from 350 million to 224 million in Greater Manchester from 1986 to 1991, patronage didn’t fall below the 200 million mark until 2016. Rail passenger numbers in Greater Manchester are around 35 million per annum – the Metrolink has about 38 million passengers a year. Both of which combined equivalent to 75% of Stagecoach Manchester’s patronage. Back in 1969, even with the Altrincham and Bury lines under BR control – and a few closed branch lines (Bolton – Bury – Castleton; New Mills Central – Hayfield), around 35 million.

      As for Greater Manchester’s decline in bus patronage in the last five years, a number of factors. Congestion is one due to deeply unattractive journey times; cuts to tendered services, thanks to departmental cuts foisted upon TfGM by HM Government. Also internet shopping. If you have no car it is a lot cheaper for casual bus passengers to buy online than pay Greater Manchester’s extortionate single fares. Even with postage and the added inconvenience of waiting for parcels. With more jobs being part time and zero hour contracts, short hours make season tickets a less viable option. Sometimes the hours can be outside those of your local bus route (so the car wins there).

      I have travelled several miles on local bus routes and express routes for several years. In my time I have seen examples of best practice and substandard practice across the UK. On Transdev’s longer distance services, the Leigh Guided Busway’s Vantage routes, and Stagecoach Gold routes, I have had more comfortable journeys than some train journeys. Especially when compared with the Merseytravel PTE specification Pacer units (where even standard bus seats are more comfortable).

      There is no way I would ‘happily’ stand on a train for 20 minutes as an alternative to the bus. When you pay next to millions for train fares, you should expect a seat. Ahead of standing on a train for 20 minutes from Blackpool North to Preston yesterday, I opted for the non-stop bus replacement service. Only five people aboard compared with 300 on a three car DMU. Plus free WiFi and coach style seats. On one of Blackpool Transport’s state-of-the-art double deckers with Palladium branding. Only 35 minutes at that.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  13. Robert Bracegirdle says:

    Travelled the 192 from Hazel Grove park and ride to Manchester last December. Great views from the top deck and free to my bus pass of course. But it is over an hour. Regularly use the 38 (old NWRCC 24) from Gawsworth to either Macclesfield or Crewe. Service survives the cuts too. Runs to 2335 at night as well.

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    1. Hi Robert,

      I would say the full length of the 192 is quite a journey. From past experience it has taken me 20 to 30 minutes to get from Stockport to Hazel Grove. Which is good for the ‘Spoons on the A6 (and preferable to The Calvert’s Court for my father). Cannot fault your views on the views from the top deck. A Limited stop version wouldn’t be a bad idea, and there was a limited version till recently. Stagecoach Manchester had to stop a previous version due to passengers trying to flag it from stops not covered on the route. If only they read the bus stop flags properly…!

      I haven’t been on the 38 for a while, and it is quite an enjoyable route. My last journey was in 2008, en route to the Sandbach Festival from Macclesfield. After catching a 130 from Piccadilly Gardens and (the late great 217 and 220 routes from Dukinfield).

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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