Last 16, Match 1: X58 v. X43  

For the first match of our knockout stages, we pit a Pendle witch against a tiger with our two Trans-Pennine bus routes. This match, and subsequent games in the knockout stages will be played to a finish. In other words, extra time and penalties may apply.

Close to the (Blackstone) Edge

The ride from Ripponden to Littleborough is sensational. Over a short stretch you pass the few metres of the 2016 Tour de France Yorkshire Leg that was situated in Greater Manchester. The train to Halifax via Todmorden may be scenic, but it can never hold a candle to Yorkshire Tiger’s route.

Another great joy is the fact you see thousands of years of transport history in the making. Not only the railways and canals, but also Blackstone Edge.

Towards the Yorkshire Dales

Whereas the X58 has stunning views between Littleborough and Ripponden, a full journey along the X43 allows for some ninja-style bus-bashing. The fun begins north of Rawtenstall with the moorland scenery en route to Burnley, Nelson, and Colne. After our urban interlude, we take in what was the most scenic part of Pennine Motor Services’ 215 route, up to Earby and Barnoldswick. Then open countryside up to Skipton.

There is a daily link between Manchester and Skipton. On Summer Sundays, the X43 continues towards Malham Cove and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Memo to High Peak Buses who are discontinuing the Mancunian section of TransPeak, watch and learn.

Full Time Score:

X58 [Halifax] 1 – 3 X43 [Skipton]

With its Summer Sunday extension and decent daytime frequencies, our Pendle Witches brushed aside the Yorkshire Tiger. A set piece and some defensive howlers were behind the Tigers’ conceded goals.

S.V., 30 June 2018.

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