The 0x Factor: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

Greater Manchester’s ultimate Lost Bus Route?

Whilst Wythenshawe was close to reaching its target 100,000 population, most of its population relied on Manchester Corporation’s buses. Most residents shopped in the centre of Manchester or Northenden prior to the opening of its Civic Centre in the late 1960s. Some Wythenshavians moved to the new town from inner city suburbs like Ardwick, Gorton, Collyhurst and Chorlton-on-Medlock, and visited the pubs in their former homes.

Whereas most of Wythenshawe’s bus routes would feature in the 100 series of numbers (even now with Stagecoach Manchester), there was one route at the opposite end of the scale.

Zero.

That route was the 0x. It operated from Benchill to Piccadilly bus station during peak hours. There was also part route workings to Northenden garage and the route would be advertised as either a footnote in the Manchester Corporation timetable, or tucked away within the 45, 46 and 100 timetables. In Wythenshawe, it operated via Longley Lane and Brownley Road. Some journeys terminated at Woodhouse Park.

Pretty straightforward? Not so, given its infrequent schedule and subtle changes to the route. Even less straightforward when there was more than one version of the 0x route.

One version was a version of the 44 to Baguley Sanatorium. This is today’s 109 route operated by Stagecoach Manchester, to the much expanded Wythenshawe Hospital. Another one was a variation of the 108 to Timperley. Also operated by Stagecoach Manchester, today’s 108 only has three Manchester bound journeys in the morning peak. More like the 1960s era 0x bus, then? Probably.

Other 0x routes

Confusingly, 0x was used for other Manchester Corporation routes. 0x was also used for schools, works and contract services. One example was a shoppers’ service to the Silvana warehouse in Ancoats from Piccadilly Gardens.

What Happened Next?

It is very likely that the 0x route would have been discontinued by SELNEC, whether withdrawn or renumbered as part of a principal route. Part of it is survived by today’s 43, 108 and 109 routes. The 0x route to Ancoats (for Silvana Warehouse) probably forms part of today’s 217/218 and 76 routes.

Any Answers?

Do you remember the 0x in Wythenshawe? Did you ever wake up in the crack of dawn to board, drive or conduct the said service? Feel free to comment. Feel free to elaborate on this route, more the merrier on this obscure corner of Manchester Corporation’s service list.

S.V., 25 August 2013.

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