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.
Enviro400 First Greater Manchester SN12 AHD, Mumps Bridge, Oldham
Soon to be the ex-X80: First Greater Manchester’s flirtation with the X80 limited stop service ends on the 19 July. Thankfully with the 180 reverting to being a full time 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Some retiming of the X84 service from Carrcote sees its earliest AM (0557) and latest PM (1841) journeys from Uppermill withdrawn.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].

Whatever next?

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.

8 thoughts on “Oldham and Saddleworth Bus Service Changes, Summer 2015: Reconstruction Time Again

    1. Hi Michael,

      That’ll be the hybrid fleet owned by TfGM. Same with some that are seen on the 41 and 419 services – under the aegis of MCT Travel. This also explains the withdrawal of the 386 service from Stockport to Greave and the 380/381 services going full time. Again, as with the Oldham examples, taken over by Stagecoach Manchester.

      Bye for now,



      1. with Oldham they used their own solos as they did not have any TFGM buses also with pioneer losing 380/381/386 i was wondering if they would get more of the 350s back i ask this due to it still officially been a pioneer service and also buses at Oldham 37436/37/38 still have on hire to First Manchester ltd on the front nearside windows and 47471 still has full first pioneer legals also 47466 needs sorting out the state of it is not good the opening to the front display box is broken and the nose it makes from the engine is awful


    1. Hi Mike,

      It seems as if the 81s have been rerouted away from White Moss leaving the 88 service as its main custodian. Probably with emphasis on improved timekeeping for the 81/81A services and to make the 88 more viable.

      Bye for now,



  1. Good to see 180 reverting back to it’s post 2004 haunts, although possibly a bit sad to see any sort of mini revival of the pre 2004 429/427 services cut short … limited stop services just probably aren’t as successful nowadays.


  2. I’m surprised you’ve left one very interestinng route out Stuart and thats the fact that despite extra journies being introudced on 24 service replacing 23 journies all off-peak 24 journies will now terminate at Thornham Summit with only peak journies operating to/from Rochdale a shame really for a route that has been operating to/from Rochdale since Rochdale Corporation times.


  3. Just a small note for mr bott. The 24 was started by yelloway before being sold to rochdale, Oldham and Manchester corporations


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