Simplification order of the day for local services
- X80 buses revert to 180 journeys;
- Cuts to 81, 81A and 425 services;
- S&S Travel Services loses 418 service.
For Oldham and Saddleworth bus passengers, could the impact of the Metrolink be more profound than we expected? Changes to the frequencies of the 81, 81A and 83 could ascertain this hypothesis.
The 81 and 81A services, which combine to offer buses every ten minutes between Oldham, Moston and Manchester, will see its frequency slashed to four buses per hour. Thus meaning buses every half hour to Derker or Holts Estate. There will also be changes to the 83, 181 and 182 services, probably likely to be a few tweaks. A single journey of the 149 from Manchester to Oldham (departing at 1701) will be retimed.
Remaining with Holts Estate, the 425 is set to see its daytime frequency change to every 12 minutes. Fitton Hill’s main connection with Oldham town centre has seen some delays with bunching commonplace.
In Saddleworth, simplification comes in the form of services in the 180 series of numbers. Changes to the 184 service will see its part route journeys from Oldham bus station to Piccadilly Gardens renumbered as 180. A similar fate will be true of the X80 service from Greenfield [Clarence Hotel] with the 180 providing a full time service. Some retiming of the X84 service from Carrcote sees its earliest AM (0557) and latest PM (1841) journeys from Uppermill withdrawn.
As detailed in our Tameside round-up, there will be timing changes to the 350 service from Ashton to Oldham via Saddleworth and Hey Farm. In Shaw, there will changes to First Greater Manchester’s journeys of the 408 service. To compensate for the withdrawal of its 23 service from Shaw to Manchester, there will be a one-way circular section via Milnrow Road, Wren’s Nest and Buckstones. Additional journeys on the 408 will be introduced. Could we see a future split of the full route from Buckstones to Stalybridge with two services? One where the Tameside section may revert to the former SHMD 8 route, albeit renumbered as the 338?
The 418 service from Royal Oldham Hospital to Lees will see a change of operator. S&S Travel Services will see its off-peak tendered route transfer to M Travel. The 1420 journey will terminate at Lees [County End].
Could the Metrolink effect continue to have an impact on subsequent changes? We shall see at the end of August or the end of October.
S.V., 07 July 2015.