Game 3, Group A (McGuinness): 8 v. 535  

For our seventh fixture we look at two Bolton bus routes that are polar opposites of each other. One which has featured in Phoenix Nights, and another which stops near the television transmitter where your first episode was transmitted from in January 2001.

Cast your fate to the number eight

As we said in our first fixture, the 8 was L.S. Lowry’s bus of choice from Pendlebury. It could have been Max’s bus of choice if he wasn’t queueing at the chippy in Kearsley on Phoenix Nights.  Compared with its more circuitous peers, it is First Greater Manchester’s most direct bus route to Bolton. About every ten minutes. At one time, the 12 offered another direct route before its terminus changed to Leigh.

“From transmitters of the Independent Broadcasting Authority, this is Granada…”

In the opening fixture of The Greater Manchester World Cup of Bus Routes, the splendid views saw the 535 hold its own against the 1 service to Blackburn. The latter service scraped into its first group stage game due to its superior frequency. Given the slightly less scenic views of the 8 service, the bus to The Centre of Granadaland shows that quality rather than quantity matters.

Full Time Score:

8 [Manchester] 0 – 1 535 [Belmont]

The 8 service may lack the views in favour of its convenience. Strictly speaking The Road to Hell is paved with chip barms. Plus we miss the sign leading to the Chloride Works where SELNEC’s pioneering electric bus came from.

To get the best of both worlds, an Any Bus Day Saver of any description should whisk you towards Winter Hill on both featured buses. Especially from Pendlebury or Kearsley, changing at Bolton.

S.V., 19 June 2018.

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