330 service takes to the skies with Manchester Airport link
- Ashton to Ringway every half hour;
- Minor retiming changes for 7, 204, 205, 206, 219, 346 and 347 routes;
- Operator revision for some 169 journeys.
As far as service changes are concerned, this quarter’s set is a pretty quiet one for Tameside and Glossop. Apart from the retiming of some routes, there are only two significant changes: an operator revision and a route extension.
The most significant change affects the 330 service, and this one is a pretty good one from a Tameside point of view. From the 30 October, two journeys per hour will be extended from Stockport bus station to Manchester Airport and the World Freight Terminal. It will follow High Peak Buses’ 199 Skyline route from Buxton along the M60 and M56 motorways. This will mean four buses per hour from Mersey Square to Ringway – non-stop.
Furthermore, Stagecoach Manchester’s change sees the return of Ashton’s direct link with Manchester Airport. This was severed in May 1999 when First Manchester discontinued it on the 400 Trans-Lancs Express route. For Dukinfield and Hyde, this will be their first ever direct bus to Manchester Airport.
What will be Dukinfield’s gain is also Cheadle Hulme’s loss. The 369 service, which has offered an alternative route to Manchester Airport (via Cheadle Hulme and Heald Green) will be withdrawn. Their place will be taken by additional journeys of the 368 (to Wythenshawe Interchange) and an early morning 368A route to Ringway.
On all of First Greater Manchester’s journeys of the 346 route, there will be minor timing changes to improve reliability. This will also apply to the Saturday timetable of the 7 (Stagecoach Manchester). Other Stagecoach Manchester services that will be retimed include the 204, 205, and 206. The Sunday and Bank Holiday timetable of the 219 service will also be revised, to improve timekeeping. This will be true of the 347‘s weekday timetable.
Part of the 169 service to Southern Cemetery from Ashton and Droylsden will see a change of operator. Its early morning journeys, plus Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys will now be operated by MCT Travel.
The January 2017 changes could be critical. In the last twenty years of following Greater Manchester’s bus scene, the January changes have often been severe (though nowhere quite as severe as the Spring set have been for the last decade).
S.V., 27 October 2016.