Game 5, Group G (Moorhouse): 389 v. 219 

For our forty-fifth fixture, we look at two very different routes that begin in Ashton-under-Lyne. Each one of our two routes – believe it or not – stop near an ALDI store (yes, I bet you will sleep soundly for knowing this tidbit of information).

City centre views?

For a short distance local route, the 389 service takes in some dramatic views. From the top of Ridge Hill Estate and Lyne Edge Road, Manchester city centre and beyond can be seen quite clearly. The enjoyment of these depend on one thing: double decker buses. De rigeur for First Greater Manchester and MCT Travel are single decker buses or minibuses. If you get the odd Volvo B9TL or Enviro400 on a First journey, you really need to sit upstairs. Especially on a clear day.

Or city centre queues?

On Stagecoach Manchester’s 219 service, single deckers are an exception instead of the rule. Anything other than a standard or electric-hybrid Enviro400 double decker is a rarity. Like the 389 it serves a mix of local clientele as well as long distance passengers. Some might opt for taking the full journey from Ashton to Manchester (or from Stalybridge in the peaks). Whereas the 389 could be bogged down by the Cheshire Cheese, the traffic on Ashton Old Road has a greater effect on the 219 and its sister routes (the solitary eastbound 220 journey and peak hour 221 service).

Full Time Score:

389 [Hyde] 1 – 1 219 [Manchester]

Both services perform a useful role in linking their communities with major cities. Whether Yew Tree with Hyde and Stalybridge, or Openshaw with Manchester, a decent enough (though not perfect) job. The 219 is best enjoyed outside peak hours.

S.V., 28 June 2018.

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