Tameside Bus Service Changes, 27 October 2013: A Matter of Timing

Traffic conditions behind recent set of changes

  • Daytime retiming of Pioneer Depot Team’s 346 journeys;
  • Peak hour tweaks to 41 route;
  • Route changes to 353, 354, 387 and 396.
First Greater Manchester Dennis Dart SLF, Marshall bodywork, X785 HLR, outside Hyde bus station
Could common sense prevail? The Pioneer Depot Team will be retiming their 346’s daytime journeys from the 27 October. At present, bunching is a regular problem among Dukinfield passengers.

The modern day scourge of traffic congestion and residents parking their vehicles on the kerb are the main driver towards this autumn’s service changes. Throughout Tameside, most particularly Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne, they mainly affect First Greater Manchester’s routes operated by the Pioneer Depot Team.

Rerouted via Carr Lane from Beech Avenue will be daytime journeys on the 353 and 354 routes. The lack of space for buses prompted this decision. For similar reasons, Manchester Community Transport’s 396 service will no longer serve Amos Avenue, Scotland Hall Road and Briscoe Lane at the Newton Heath end of the route. The 335 service from Denton [Town Lane] to Ashton will be rerouted at the Denton end via City Avenue, Ruby Street, Town Lane and along the full length of St. Lawrence Road.

Traffic conditions have prompted the changes for three services which operate out of Ashton bus station. There has been slight tweaks to the 41 service’s peak hour timetable, whereas the 387 will no longer serve Clarendon Road. Instead, 387s will approach Hattersley via Mottram New Road, turning left onto Halton Street before turning right onto High Street for Godley, following most of the present route thereafter.

However, the most major change of this autumn’s service changes involve the 346. At present, the daytime service of the 346 has six buses per hour from Ashton or Hyde bus stations. Bunching at the Albion Hotel stop reduces this amount to around every 20 minutes, with First Greater Manchester’s journeys either behind or in front of the Stagecoach Manchester one within a few seconds of each other. This October’s changes aim to right this wrong which has left Dukinfield passengers somewhat short changed.

With the exception of seasonal services finishing for the winter, there will be no changes for Glossopian bus users till the 24 November. These will affect passengers on the 61 service from Glossop to Buxton. High Peak is set to revise the weekday timetable a little to allow for increased traffic.

S.V., 18 October 2013.

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9 thoughts on “Tameside Bus Service Changes, 27 October 2013: A Matter of Timing

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  1. i use the 354 and it has had trouble on beech avnue once it could not pass as a van was in the way and the van driver gave the bus driver a dirty look it will make it easier the way some drivers race though the estate

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    1. Hi Alex,

      You will be happy to find that the bottom section via Ruskin Avenue and Auburn Road will not be affected by the changes. As to whether they are permanent changes, this will depend on passengers’ feedback as the 335 is a tendered service.

      Depending on the length of the contract between First Greater Manchester and Transport for Greater Manchester, any changes to route may arise about 6 – 12 months from next Sunday. Besides operator changes, the 335 service’s route and frequency has changed little in the last decade.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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      1. Hi Stuart,

        Thankyou for your help! It is great to know it won’t be efgecting me, lol.
        As for frequency, the current hourly is slightly annoying, ahh well, wish it was every half hour, I wonder if it ever has been un the past?

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  2. the 335 has always been hourly since it was first introduced by Vale of Manchester at the start of the 90s. As Stuart says, the timetable has been pretty constant – first and last journies have started at various different places, and the service has been operated by a whole range of operators.
    Before the 335, the GMBuses LittleGem A7 service operated every 15 minutes from Ruskin Ave, around Whittles and St Annes as a Denton circular. Positioning journies operated to Ashton as the A6 from Crown Point.

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    1. Hi Ted,

      Your history of the 335’s predecessor is much appreciated. Furthermore, I always wondered how many of the Ashton-Mini-Lyne/Tameside Little Gem routes there was. Besides the A1, I also knew of another route which went via the Old General [Dukinfield] which was the A4.

      The seeds seem to have been sown for a future blog post here!

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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      1. As regular passengers will know by now, the 335 is not running via Ruby Street after all. Apparently the route change was agreed with the Operator and passed by TFGMC, only for Tameside Council to object at the last minute.
        More generally, tendered services have to be closely scrutinised for costs, and rarely run more than hourly. Bearing in mind that the frequent, commercial 347 is only about 500 metres away from the furthest point of the route at the Denton end, and there is slight duplication with the 345, this section only just comes into the distance “criteria” to justify the use of Council tax payers money. I also believe this route change came about mid-tender, so I don’t know how long the contract has to run, but with all tendered services; “Use it or lose it” is more appropriate than ever as rumours are budgets will be much tighter than even the last three years.

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