Tameside and Saddleworth Bus Changes Extra, Winter 2017

Changes to South Pennine Community Transport and Tameside Local Link services

South Pennine Community Transport, GK52 OLA, Renault Master/Rohill Harrier, High Street, Uppermill
South Pennine Community Transport’s then newly formed 352 service outside The Commercial Hotel, Uppermill.

Since our Tameside and Saddleworth area bus service changes articles went to press, here’s news of a couple of changes that have escaped our radar.

Ashton-under-Lyne’s Holmfirth connection

There will be a change of operating day for the X50 service from Ashton-under-Lyne market hall to Holmfirth. Instead of Thursdays, South Pennine CT’s service will operate on Tuesdays, neatly coinciding with its flea market day. The new timetable will adhere to the present times, though will be retimed to run two days earlier.

Furthermore, there will a slight change to the route in Ashton-under-Lyne. The limited stop service will observe all stops between Greenfield and Mossley. For passengers continuing to and from Honley, there will also be guaranteed connections with the X50 at Holmfirth. Passengers in Honley and Netherthong can board a 309 to Holmfirth and change there to get to Ashton.

The 309 will be a new service from Honley to Holmfirth via the Roundway area of Honley. It will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays. On Fridays, guaranteed connections will be available with the 351 to Glossop.

Both changes are effective from the 21 February.

Tameside Local Link changes

We on East of the M60 seldom look at changes to demand responsive transport services. This time we take exception as this Sunday sees changes to Tameside’s Local Link operations.

Since 2001, there has been separate Local Link DRT schemes covering parts of Tameside which makes for some fragmentation. There are separate schemes for Hattersley, Gee Cross, Tame Valley, Mossley and Saddleworth, and Glossop.

Radio Cabs (Ashton) – also of A1 Taxis and Cavalier Radio Cars fame – runs most of Tameside’s Local Link services. Hattersley and Godley Local Link services are operated by Eco Travel. This Sunday [29 January] will see a merger of the Tame Valley, Gee Cross, and Hattersley Local Link services. They will all become part of the new East Tameside Local Link service.

Therefore, the new footprint will cover the eastern and south eastern corner of the Tameside boundary. The Mossley and Saddleworth and Dane Bank (evenings only) Local Link services remain unaffected for the time being. As well as serving passengers within the East Tameside footprint, out-of-boundary journeys to popular destinations in Tameside are covered.

Instead of a hotchpotch of different times over three areas, all Local Link services will operate from 0530 to 2200 on weekdays and Saturdays. On Sundays and Bank Holidays, 0600 to 2200. Please note that Local Link does not operate on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Local Link Fares:

  • Adult: £2.70 single, £4.00 return;
  • Child/Pensioner: £1.35 single, £2.00 return;
  • Concessionary Plus pass holders: free of charge.

How to use Local Link:

  1. If you’re a new passenger, so long as you live within the Transport for Greater Manchester boundary, you can register with Local Link online or telephone 0161 200 6012. Calls are charged at your telephone company’s usual rates and may cost more on a mobile phone than on landlines. Lines are open from 0700 to 2000 on weekdays and 0800 to 2000 on weekends and Bank Holidays.
  2. Book your single or return journey by phone or online. The longest you can book in advance for is a week. The shortest notice period you can give is an hour prior to your departure.
  3. Wait for your journey. Get dressed, have a shower, brew up or play your favourite casual game till you see a white minibus with Local Link on the side through your window.
  4. Please note that Local Link is a halfway house between a taxi and a service bus. You may be sharing your minibus with other people who happen to be going to Ashton Market, Tameside General Hospital, or the Hyde branch of KFC. Therefore, there may be some deviation from what you may consider your ‘usual route’. The good thing is, unlike a taxi, you won’t be paying extra to the driver should he or she takes a more circuitous route or gets held up in traffic.

S.V., 26 January 2017.


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