Retiming for FirstGroup routes and a Rosso retreat
Whereas only three of FirstGroup’s Tameside routes have seen subtle changes, less subtle changes will be made to Oldham’s routes. Particularly on Manchester bound routes including the 180 and 182. The 181/182 services to Manchester will be at the sharpest end of their changes.
In addition to FirstGroup’s changes, we bid a farewell to Rosso on two TfGM tendered services. The 435 will be Transdev’s only route in Oldham MBC boundaries.
As with Tameside’s changes, FirstGroup’s changes are due to minimising dead time between the first and last journeys to and from Oldham depot. Hence weekday changes to the 81 service which will see the withdrawal of the 2325 from Moston to Manchester, and the 2355 to Oldham. The 2305 journey to Moston will be extended to Oldham [Mumps Bridge].
Sunday and evening journeys on the 81 service will see changes. The 1901 journey from Derker to Manchester will be withdrawn. Evening journeys between Moston and Manchester will depart from The Gardeners’ Arms at one minute to the hour (1959 to 2259). In the opposite direction, twenty-five past the hour (at 2025, 2125, and 2225). The 2325 journey will continue to Oldham [Mumps Bridge].
Its sister route to Holts Estate, the 81A, will see the loss of weekday journeys to Oldham, at 1810 and 1840. Minor changes will be seen on the 83 service from Sholver. As well as minor timing changes, its 0413 and 0443 southbound journeys to Manchester will depart three minutes earlier (at 0410 and 0440).
For the 181 and 182 services, some tweaks will be made to its AM and PM peak journeys. On the 181 route, the 0801 journey from Manchester to Shaw will depart at 0809, replacing a 182 journey to Royton. Its 1501 Chadderton to Manchester journey will depart at 1510 from the 29 January. This partially replaces the 1507 journey from Royton to Manchester. The 1600 journey to Shaw will also be withdrawn.
On its sister route, the 182, the 0534 journey from Chadderton to Shaw will be withdrawn. As will the 0809 journey to Royton. Changes to PM peak services from Shaw will see 181s departing at 1646, 1739, and 1822. 182s will depart at 1701, 1719 and 1754.
Once again, more changes are proposed for the 408 service. This time its route in Shaw has changed – or rather – reverted to a previous incarnation. At Rochdale Road crossroads it will turn left at The Shay Wake towards Wren’s Nest. Then it will continue to Buckstones in a clockwise direction via Buckstones Road, Hillside Avenue, Grains Road, and Beal Lane. The operator of its Monday to Saturday daytime service will be MCT Travel. From the 29 January, they will operate all journeys apart from those on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
There is also another tender gain for MCT Travel on another Roytonian bus route: the 412 from Oldham to Middleton. Monday to Saturday times have changed. As with the 408, no changes to its Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys – also operated by Stagecoach Manchester.
Though Rosso have lost its journeys on the 408 and 412 routes, they retain a near monopoly on the 435 service. In Shaw it will no longer serve Buckstones Road, the Wren’s Nest, and Milnrow Road. Instead it will terminate at the Hillside Avenue bus turnaround.
The 184 will see the loss of its 1902 part route journey from Grotton to Manchester. In its place will be an extended 180 journey, leaving Greenfield [The Clarence Hotel] at 1905. This also replaces a part route journey from Greenfield to Oldham which departs at 1912. A much better move which eliminates a need to change buses in Grotton or Oldham from a Greenfield point of view. Early morning journeys will be retimed on Sundays.
Last week’s Bus Networks and TfGM Services Sub-Committee meeting could see some far-reaching changes to Oldham and Saddleworth routes. Changes are proposed for the 159 service with a possible new operator.
The biggest change, proposed after Eastertide, are the curtailment of First Greater Manchester’s 353 and 354 services. It is proposed the services will terminate at Uppermill and Carrcote, instead of Dobcross and Denshaw.
In its place, a new Saddleworth shuttle bus – numbered 356 – is proposed. That will start at Denshaw before terminating at Saddleworth Pool or Greenfield railway station, taking in Delph, Dobcross, Diggle, and Uppermill. It is also proposed that smaller buses – with a maximum of 22 seats will be used. Changes will also be made to Saddleworth’s Local Link service.
We await Easter’s changes with great interest.
S.V., 23 January 2018.