State of the Art Midibuses Set to Reach Tameside

East of the M60 Exclusive: Pioneer Depot Team set to receive ten Wright StreetLite Max midibuses.

Tameside’s bus users are set to see newer buses on some of their local routes. First Greater Manchester, who have recently taken over Finglands Coachways’ stage carriage operations, has ordered a number of Wright Streetlite midibuses for local services. Their latest order will see ten of the above vehicles reach Dukinfield garage.

Excluding the Transport for Greater Manchester owned electric hybrid Optare Solo M920 vehicles, they will be Dukinfield garage’s first new buses since 1995. They are set to displace some of their older step entrance double deckers and low floor vehicles. Its inveterate members include 31929, an R-reg Dennis Arrow and 40406, the Pioneer Depot Team’s oldest Dennis Dart SLF, also of similar age to the Arrow.

Of late, First Greater Manchester’s new Wright StreetLite Maxes have been seen in and around Tameside on route learning duties. At odds with the usual moquette seen on most of the Dukinfield garage’s vehicle, Tameside’s latest additions have leather seats. There is seating for 45 passengers with standing capacity for up to 26 passengers.

They are likely to enter service by Spring of this year. As some as we see them on the 346, or on any other services from the Pioneer Depot Team, expect nothing less than the full East of the M60 treatment. (In other words, a review complete with the usual photographs, details of the best bus seat positions and the Metal Rear Factor).

S.V., 27 February 2014.

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21 thoughts on “State of the Art Midibuses Set to Reach Tameside

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  1. they are to replace 31929, 34088, 34089, 40403, 41780, 41781, 41783, 41784, 41786 and 41787 there are still 3 more ADLs said to be coming from First Devon & cornwall been 42942, 42943 and 42946

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    1. RIP my favourite little Dennis Arrow. 😦

      I had the pleasure of boarding this vehicle on the 1735 Hyde – Ashton 346 today, owning the front seat of the top deck like a right boss. She still had a better pair of tyres and engine than the X-reg Marshall bodied Dennis Dart SLFs! 🙂

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    2. Didn’t happen like this. Vehicle swap with Devon & Cornwall cancelled after 4 buses either way, and B9s have left Dukinfield instead of the X-reg Darts.

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      1. Hi Phil,

        I am still not a fan of the X-reg Marshall bodied Darts – now in the ‘elite’ group of three vehicles I travel great distances to avoid. (The others being the Merseyfailer – Merseytravel PTE specification Pacer units and any Wright Handybus bodied Dennis Dart). The seats aren’t very back friendly and the legroom is tighter than being in a round with Ebenezer Scrooge.

        Bye for now,

        Stuart.

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  2. About bloody time they got some brand new buses for Pioneer, but the 346 is probably the obvious beneficiary considering the competition with Stagecoach. Considering Stagecoach renewed their fleeton that route in 2011, I’m surprised First’s investment didn’t come sooner.

    But at least with leaving it ’til now, First can boast that their buses on the route are three years younger than most of Stagecoach’s on the route (and a few months newer than the one more Enviro200 Stagecoach Ashton received at the tail end of last year lol).

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    1. Hi Mark,

      You may be right on the 346 being the main beneficiary (:-)), but Dukinfield well and truly needs the ten StreetLites. With the 348s and 350s the preserve of the Volvo B9TLs, I think the 346 and the 389 services may be the most likely recipients of the new vehicles. I wonder if they can negotiate Crescent Road and Fir Tree Drive with great ease? I should imagine so given the StreetLite’s introduction in South Yorkshire and the amount of hills on the 51 [Gleadless Town End – Sheffield – Crookes] service alone.

      I agree with you to some extent on the schadenfreude of ‘our buses are slightly younger than yours’ gambit against its rivals off Whitelands Road. Furthermore, I think the StreetLites would be a boon for their TfGM tendered services.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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    1. Hi James,

      Indeed I have seen the revised timetables for the 41 and 419 services on the TfGM website. The ones for the 409 service with the Broadoak Road diversion have yet to be seen.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  3. One of Oldham Depot’s Instructors has recently been working out of Pioneer Depot teaching the Pioneer Drivers the new Streetlites that they will be driving shortlyi

    One thing he did inform me of though was that Oldham Depot won’t be getting any at the moment, shame really as we could do with newer buses on 415s with breakdowns happening quite often on the route these days

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    1. the 415s are getting the B6s from QS 40437 to 44 batch to replace the darts pioneers new ones will replace the arrow the 2 olys 40403 and the marshall darts

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      1. Hi Michael,

        Exactly as I thought with the solitary Arrow, two T-reg Volvo Olympians and 40403 (Dennis Dart SLF of legends).

        Anyway, glad to see they are replacing the Marshall bodied Darts. I’m not too impressed with them owing to the lack of legroom. Furthermore, I already had a low opinion of them, following my experiences with SpeedwellBus’ and Mayne of Manchester’s examples (though the seats were more comfortable) – and that was ride quality rather than seating.

        Bye for now,

        Stuart.

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    2. Hi Andrew,

      Like many of the Pioneer Depot Team’s routes, the 415 would be an ideal candidate for Wright StreetLite midibuses. The people of Alkrington Garden Village and Foxdenton have been crying out for new buses on that route.

      However, I wonder how they would cope with the numerous speed bumps between Alkrington Garden Village and Fields New Road!

      Further to Michael’s update, passengers on the 415 are still getting palmed off with inveterate vehicles. Not only that, older vehicles than Tameside’s FirstGroup fleet.

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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      1. I do not think Oldham depot give a toss about the 415 route on a list i have seen it gives 47466 to 81 for pioneer but i think some of these might now come as they say only 10 for Pioneer not seen 42944 for 2 months someone said it had gone for a new engine as the trip from Cornwall seems to have kankered it or it has gone back 42942/43 now not said to be coming

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      2. 53143/44 now robbed by Oldham for 415 read from James on slf no more will go there now pioneer fleet update

        31929
        34088/89
        37436/37/38/64/65/66
        40312w dumped at Oldham
        40324/25/26/27
        40382w last reported Dumped at Oldham 12/13
        40403
        41780/81/83/84/85/86/87
        42940/41/45
        42944 [not seen for a least 2 weeks by myself if anyone knows where this is please post on here

        47466 to 81
        49113/14/15
        53145 to 50
        59009/10/11/14/15/16
        90029 fork lift truck
        90432 personnal carrier
        90434 combo van
        90449 combo van
        SP 14 GVR Transit van [no fleet number known]

        also a workmate who is also a bus fan said the streetlamps are going to Scotland in July for the commnwealth games can any one confirm this to be the case

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