Two new operators hit the streets of Greater Manchester this July
The fluid nature of the Greater Manchester bus scheme never fails to fascinate East of the M60, and a fair chunk of its regular readers. Conversely, the presence of new operators may infuriate some passengers, particularly those accustomed to single operator season tickets.
First of the two operators to hit the streets of Greater Manchester will be Cumfybus. In the last decade, they have expanded through tendered services in West Lancashire, along the Fylde Coast and in the Merseytravel ITA area. Their fleet comprises of modern Optare Solo minibuses in a bright yellow livery with cheerful multi-coloured sans-serif lettering.
To accommodate its Greater Manchester fleet, a new depot has opened in Bolton. They will commence operations on the 08 July 2013 (a fortnight from today). With effect from the said date, Cumfybus will operate the following services in Wigan and Bolton:
- 536: Bolton – Breightmet Circular (evenings, Sundays and Bank Holidays – formerly Stagecoach in Wigan);
- 551: Bolton – Leigh (from South Lancs Travel);
- 553: Boothstown – Bolton (from Stagecoach in Wigan, hitherto Bolton – Leigh);
- 559: Hindley – Bolton (from Stagecoach in Wigan, hitherto Bolton – Aspull);
- 570: Sutton Estate – Bolton (from Arriva North West).
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An Old Friend Returns (Well Almost)
Our second operator is a family run company formed in 1995. From the 17 July, Club Class Travel will launch its first stage carriage service. The 61 will operate every half hour from Higher Blackley to Manchester city centre. Its main city centre stop will be outside Shudehill Interchange.
To publicise the route, its buses will be branded ‘I’mALittleGem.com’ – a 21st century twist on GM Buses’ response to the Bee Line Buzz Company. Being Club Class Travel’s first foray into stage carriage operation, we at East of the M60 wish them the best of luck.
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As well as the usual single operator season tickets and fares, both operators will honour the System One range of season tickets. For Club Class Travel’s 61 route, rival operators’ staff passes will also be valid. Details of their RideAway Day and RideAway Week ticket prices will be unveiled on the 17 July.
- Cumfybus: website detailing all operations throughout Lancashire
- Club Class Travel: company website detailing private hire operations with reference to forthcoming 61 route;
- I’mALittleGem.com: microsite detailing the forthcoming 61 route.
S.V., 24 June 2013.