Tameside Bus Changes, April 2013: One Flew Over the Bluebird’s Nest

Operation revisions order of the day and a boost for the New Mills Town Service

Dennis Dart SLF, Stagecoach Manchester X744 JCS, Oldham bus station
A sizeable number of former Bluebird Bus and Coach routes acquired by Stagecoach Manchester will be changing hands after the 07 April. This service will be operated in its entirety by Manchester Community Transport, who have made significant gains in the Oldham and Tameside areas.

As expected, a great many of the changes entail Stagecoach Manchester’s former Bluebird Bus and Coach routes. The bulk of which will be its subsidised routes, some of which on about to acquire their fourth operator in the space of 15 months.

Manchester Community Transport will see its network expand in the Tameside area, and further consolidation inside the Oldham MBC boundary. From the 07 April, the 395 [Limehurst Farm – Ashton-under-Lyne] and 396 [Ashton-under-Lyne – Fitton Hill – Newton Heath] will transfer from Stagecoach Manchester’s control to that of Manchester Community Transport. For the 395 and 396 routes, this will be their fourth operator since January 2011, and fifth since January 2008. Vale of Manchester and SpeedwellBus went to the Great Bus Garage in the Sky, whereas Bluebird Bus and Coach (as we know) was swallowed up by Stagecoach Manchester.

Also transferring to Manchester Community Transport will be the 159 [Oldham – Middleton] route in its entirety, and evening journeys on the 169 [Southern Cemetery – Ashton-under-Lyne]. The latter is a tender gain from JPT Travel.

It has also been reported that Oldham’s 400 [Metroshuttle] route will remain in service till the opening of the town centre section of the Metrolink. Again, Manchester Community Transport will continue to operate the shuttle route.

Only one of the big three operators gained a TfGM subsidised service in this month’s round of service changes. The 231 [Manchester – Droylsden – Smallshaw – Ashton-under-Lyne] route’s Monday to Saturday evening service will transfer from Stagecoach Manchester to First Greater Manchester.

In the New Mills, High Peak’s 389 [New Mills Town Service] will be revised, with weekday journeys retimed. Its Saturday service will be boosted by a further three journeys (up to nine from six before Easter Monday). However, the Saturday service will start later, though sees most of its extra journeys between 1100 and 1400 hours.

So, all in all, no major changes and nothing out of the ordinary which would destabilise the wider bus network.

S.V., 19 March 2013.

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