Game 4, Quarter Finals: 53 v. 184  

For our sixtieth fixture we have two, genuinely iconic routes, that are operated by the same company. Brace yourselves for another exciting quarter final.

Belle Vue…

The 53 is a legendary route which at one time served a legendary zoological gardens and amusement park. At one time it was the backbone of Manchester Corporation’s bus and tram network. So much so they had one maxim: if it worked on the 53, it would have worked anywhere on Manchester Corporation’s routes. Sadly, bus deregulation didn’t, coupled with Greater Manchester’s deindustrialisation and shift to service industries.

In spite of this, the 53 is important enough to retain early morning journeys on Sundays. This to cater for passengers working in Salford Quays and Old Trafford.

Or a beautiful view?

On the 184, you wouldn’t be see the bright lights of MediaCity nor a Tigon. Instead you get splendid views between Diggle and Marsden across Standedge Moor. Since deregulation, Oldham’s connection with Huddersfield has improved. At one time, a few infrequent journeys. Things changed when Yorkshire Rider extended the route (then the 365) to Manchester and Bradford. Then came competition with Yorkshire Rider’s Kingfisher group going head to head with Blue Bus.

Today, the frequency from Manchester to Huddersfield has stabilised at once hourly. Evening journeys are sorely missed.

Full Time Score:

53 [Pendleton] 1 – 2 184 [Huddersfield]

Both routes are great, but what made this tie a close run was the 53’s early morning and evening journeys. The scenic aspect of the 184 route was a saving grace.

S.V., 07 July 2018.

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