Peak hour congestion party to latest changes
There is, at least in Tameside and East Manchester, little to report other than retimings for the first set of changes in 2016. Then again, regular readers of our bulletins will understand that Easter’s set of service changes are usually the worst. In other words, the nut flavoured toffees that nobody goes for in the tin of Quality Street.
Stagecoach Manchester services 168, 169, 203, 327 and 347 will be seeing changes to their timetables from the 24 January. There will be minor timetable changes to the 347, to improve reliability and timekeeping. On the 327, two peak hour journeys will be retimed to run five minutes earlier. These are the 0740 from Stockport and the 0805 from Denton [Crown Point] (0735 and 0800 after 24 January 2016).
Some slight retiming to the 168 and 169 services will see improved connections with Whalley Range. Afternoon journeys will be revised to allow passengers to transfer onto Whalley Range bound buses at Longsight.
Though a little out of Tameside (yet of some benefit to passengers in the West End of Denton), the 203‘s evening service is going to get a boost. Stockport to Reddish part route journeys of the Manchester to Stockport service via Debdale Park will be extended to run along the full route.
Detailed in last Friday’s Buses Sub-Committee Meeting is a few changes pencilled in for Tameside’s bus users (which we shall mention nearer the time). Thankfully, none of which as severity of last April’s cutbacks though of some significance.
Also proposed – and of more immediate concern in the said meeting – is a change to the 346‘s route in Gee Cross on its evening journeys. At present, both outward and return journeys negotiate Stockport Old Road, turning around at the junction of Stockport Road East and Dowson Road.
The changes, with effect from the 31 January 2016 may see Ashton-bound evening journeys traverse Dowson Road, thus creating a circular section of the route south of Market Street and The Cottage Tavern.
Over in FirstGroup Land, congestion too has been the bane of our fellows in Dukinfield. A lot of which due to the traffic lights outside the Albion School building, we think. The Ashton Circular route 331, will see weekday peak journeys running five minutes later than the usual 10 past and 20 to the hour (retimed to 1645, 1715 and 1745).
More peak hour changes will see the 389 service retimed in both directions, departing five minutes later than the present timetable. From Ashton to Hyde that will be 1708, 1738 and 1808. In the opposite direction from Hyde, 1757, 1827 and 1857.
The biggest changes in FirstGroup Land affect the 348 service. Whereas some evening peak hour journeys will be retimed, there will be some retiming on Sunday and Bank Holiday daytime journeys (BT Lights botheration?). Its sister route, the 350, will also see a slight change. A part route journey from Oldham to Uppermill will depart at 1735 instead of 1730.
There has also been timetable changes to the 231 service’s evening journeys and a change of operator for the tendered evening 232 service. Operated by Stagecoach Manchester, First Greater Manchester will take over the circular route from Ashton to Hurst Cross. Minor timetable changes will be made to the 409 service to improve timekeeping.
The next set of changes will be effective from the 03 April 2016 and from what we’ve seen, there will be an awful set for Lancastrians using Lancashire County Council subsidised routes. That due to LCC discontinuing the subsidisation of all tendered services from that date.
Closer to home, Broadbottom could lose its sole evening bus route, the 202. There is the possibility of Brushes Estate being covered by evening journeys of the 348 instead of the 343. With changes to the 81A service in Oldham, its easterly section may be absorbed by the 343 at evenings – with journeys being renumbered as the 344 (which at present in Oldham is a single morning peak hour journey to Hyde).
All will be revealed nearer Eastertide.
S.V., 16 January 2016.