Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes, January 2014: People Power Prevails

Frequencies restored and upgraded on key First Greater Manchester routes.

  • Upgraded Sunday and Evening journeys on 180 and 184 services;
  • Half hourly frequency restored on 180 service.
First Greater Manchester, Enviro400, Oldham bus station
The 184 will see an increase in mid-evening and Sunday journeys. Following three consultation events, the 180 will see its daytime half hourly frequency restored. Seen here is SN12 AEX, an Enviro400 double decker about to depart for Huddersfield.

People power is behind most of First Greater Manchester’s latest service changes. Last October, the daytime service of the 180 from Manchester to Greenfield [Clarence Hotel] was cut from half hourly to once hourly. From the 28 January 2014, the 180 will revert to its pre-October 2012 frequency.

Cuts to the Greenfield service and sister route 184 was met with public outcry, resulting in a 500+ signature petition signed by local residents and councillors. Oldham Council lobbied First Greater Manchester to overturn this, resulting in three consultation events along the 180 and 184 routes. Therefore, changes will not only see the pre-October 2012 frequency of the 180 reinstated, but also a few changes to the 184 service with extra journeys introduced.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “The full reinstatement of the 180 service is a victory for people power but I would also like to thank First Bus for taking the views of people on board and reversing what was an unpopular decision.

“The return of a half hour service to Greenfield coupled with the other improvements to bus services across the Borough is a great start to the New Year for bus passengers.”

Councillor Barbara Beeley, Chair of Saddleworth and Lees District Executive, said: “This is great news for residents, especially the elderly, as the 180 is a popular service and it was a very unpopular decision when it was cut.”

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First Greater Manchester Service Changes (from 28 January 2014):

As the town centre section of Oldham’s Metrolink route is set to open by the beginning of January, journey times will be accelerated within Oldham town centre following the completion of road works.

  • 180 (Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Greenfield [Clarence Hotel]): half hourly Monday to Saturday daytime frequency restored;
  • 184 (Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Uppermill [Commercial Hotel]): retiming of daytime journeys to allow more evenly spaced frequencies, albeit with three buses per hour between the aforementioned points. Journeys to Huddersfield and Dobcross are unaffected. Sunday shopping hours journeys of 180 and 184 upgraded and retimed, thus meaning four buses per hour between Manchester and Greenfield railway station;
  • Both 180 and 184 services: more mid-evening journeys for evening shoppers and early Saturday and Sunday morning journeys;
  • 83 (Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Sholver): faster Monday to Saturday journeys and introduction of extra Sunday morning journey;
  • 425 (Holts Estate – Fitton Hill): 10 minute daytime frequency restored after Spring 2012’s changes (which saw a reduction in frequency from 10 to 12 minutes);
  • 408 (Shaw [Buckstones] – Stalybridge): peak hour journeys retimed to improve timekeeping.

S.V., 05 December 2013.

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