Yesterday saw the two tone blue of Bluebird Bus and Coach mercilessly replaced by the swirls of Stagecoach’s livery. Bluebird Bus and Coach was formed by the late Tom Dunstan in 1988, who held previous positions with the North Western Road Car Company, SELNEC and Greater Manchester Transport. Following his death in 2004, his son Michael took over the business.
Their first route, the 112 from Manchester to Moston stayed to the end, having expanded northwards to Middleton. The company expanded by means of tendered work around Oldham and North Manchester. In more recent times, they had one of their Dennis Dart SLFs painted in SELNEC livery, and took over the 395 and 396 routes last year, initially as an emergency tender. This followed the demise of SpeedwellBus on the 18 January.
Whereas Stagecoach Manchester and First Greater Manchester had recently reintroduced Boxing Day and New Year’s Day journeys, Bluebird had services on these days well before them. They also operated Bolton’s Metroshuttle service and some journeys on Manchester’s Centreline route (before First Manchester took over these journeys under the guise of Metroshuttles 1, 2 and 3).
Last November, Bluebird Bus and Coach accepted a £2 million offer from Stagecoach Manchester. This was approved by the Office of Fair Trading on the 22 February this year with the transfer completed yesterday.
(Which brings us onto this fellow being seen on the 159 route today):
* * *
Bluebird Bus and Coach: Designs of the Last Decade: