- 528 route saved from withdrawal;
- Service renumbered, though with loss of evening journeys and cuts to Sunday service.
A scenic cross-boundary bus route, following consultation with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, has been given a reprieve. The 528 service, from Rochdale to Halifax via Ripponden, is the most direct bus route between the two towns. It passes Blackstone Edge and covers part of the 2014 Tour de France Yorkshire route. It was one of two subsidised services slated for withdrawal on the 24 January 2015, as part of departmental cuts foisted upon Metro West Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority.
After January 2015 there wont be a 528 service, though all of its route will be covered by a new limited stop service. Renumbered X58, it will retain its hourly frequency on weekdays and Saturdays. Unlike the present timetable, there will be no evening service. The Sunday and Bank Holiday service will be more limited, possibly every two hours.
At present, the 528 serves Lydgate every two hours via Blackstone Edge Road, with the remainder serving Halifax Road. From January 2015, Lydgate (in Rochdale MBC boundaries, not Oldham MBC boundaries) will be a bus-free zone, leaving its residents with one option: a taxi to The Moorcock Inn to link up to the X58.
This leaves the 590 from Rochdale to Halifax (via Hebden Bridge) as Greater Manchester’s only full time cross-boundary route between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Confusingly, there will be two X58s in Transport for Greater Manchester boundaries (the other being a peak hour express route from Manchester to Flixton).
Previously, the 528 was operated by First Calderline, inherited from Yorkshire Rider. Before the formation of West Yorkshire PTE, it was taken over by Halifax Joint Omnibus Committee (who in turn took over Hebble’s services in 1972). Prior to then, Hebble’s 28 service.
All of the above will be finalised next month. Though the changes have meant a loss of all evening journeys and cuts to the Sunday service, it is still preferable to the worst case scenario stated in June this year.
Rising up to the challenge of its rivals (Part Deux)
The New Year will see a lot of Metro’s tendered routes in Calderdale taken over by Yorkshire Tiger. Spring 2015 shall see the arrival of new buses for its routes. Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Ripponden and Sowerby Bridge will see the arrival of electric-hybrid buses. Known as ‘Tiger Cubs’ they will have free WiFi. Furthermore, its existing fleet of single decker buses will be refurbished.
We shall see…
S.V., 28 October 2014.