2018 World Cup of GM Bus Routes: Two Sides of the Mersey Basin

Game 2, Group F (Manford): 358 v. 327  

For our twelfth fixture we look at two bus routes which cross the Mersey Basin at some point of their routes. At differing ends.

“No frills, handy for the hills…”

As in our previous piece we move into deepest North Western Road Car Company territory. This time with a short but scenic way into New Mills and Hayfield. The 358 takes in the Goyt valley for most of its route. It begins in Stockport taking in Offerton and Marple. On reaching Marple, the character of the route becomes more pastoral. This is more apparent when we see the Peak Forest Canal.

The scenic value is improved when Roman Lakes and Strines is in full view. Its most scenic part, by far, is between Roman Lakes and New Mills. The charms of New Mills enhance the route taking us into Low Leighton, Thornsett, and Hayfield.

At one time, the 358 service formed part of the 28 route to Manchester city centre. This largely followed today’s 192 service north of Stockport. This fairly short route is worthy of an afternoon’s jolly. Especially if you plan to The Sett Valley Trail or the Torrs Millennium Walkway.

No frills, handy for Morrisons

The 327 service owes its existence to another North Western route from Denton: the 381. Today’s route, operated by Stagecoach Manchester is hourly and provides a less circuitous way into Stockport by bus.

From Stockport it approaches Brinnington via Crookiley Way, before reaching Bredbury Industrial Estate. From Lingard Lane the journey is at best stultifying; grey industrial sheds and a BP garage (with a Subway and a Greggs) add colour to the view. Turning left at the garage, we see the Sunblest works before taking in the River Tame.

The short section between the Sunblest works and The Fletcher’s Arms is the route’s most scenic section. Its views along the River Tame reach out towards Haughton Green and Reddish Vale.

The last part has little in terms of scenic beauty, though its architectural highlight is St. Lawrence’s Church opposite Town Lane. Stopping short of Crown Point, the 327 finishes outside Denton’s Morrisons store.

Full Time Score:

358 [Hayfield] 3 – 1 327 [Denton]

The section between Roman Lakes and New Mills wings it for the 358 service. Not least the scope it offers for exploring the Peak District.

S.V., 18 June 2018.

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