2018 World Cup of GM Bus Routes: Radcliffe or Rawtenstall?

Game 2, Group D (Garvey): 524 v. 481  

For our eighth fixture we look at two sides of the Irwell valley. One takes in the industrial charm of Radcliffe whereas the other takes in some beautiful moorland scenery.

All hands on the little lever

Bury has a number of bus routes between Bury and Bolton, and the 471 (as detailed in our previous fixture) is the most direct one. Sometimes you might catch the 524 by mistake which takes in Radcliffe and Little Lever.

The 524 is the more urban route of our two. Especially between Bury and Radcliffe where the odd intervals of greenery interrupt red brick houses, garages and a Metrolink line. On reaching Radcliffe, you are close to the Manchester, Bolton, and Bury Canal which forms part of the Red Rose Forest.

If you alight at Hall Lane near Prestolee, you can take a walk along Cow Lane to a part of the disused canal known as Nob End (honestly I didn’t make this up). This is a Site of Specialist Scientific Interest.

Wuthering heights of Guide

For another side of the Irwell valley, why don’t you take a trip on Rosso’s service to Blackburn? Earlier this year, Rosso’s 273 service was extended from Rawtenstall to Bury. It took the number of the Bury route though offers an hourly frequency along the full route. In times of old, the full 273 service used to continue from Rawtenstall to Rochdale. In a northerly direction, some buses continued to Blackpool.

The original 481 route offered a quick, easy, yet scenic way into Bury (that I can testify after spending too long in the buffet bar at Rawtenstall station). Adding the 273 route to it, a bus route of legends. Its highlight being the moorland off Haslingden Road that continues up to Guide (off the M65 motorway). Minutes later, its character changes from Jane Austen to Shelagh Delaney as it approaches Blackburn town centre.

Full Time Score:

524 [Bolton] 1 – 3 481 [Blackburn]

The 481’s mixture of industrial townscapes and undulating moorland scenery makes Rosso’s route a winner for a good morning or afternoon away.

S.V., 16 June 2018.

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