All the usual summertime tweaks
- Waterton Lane link severed to improve reliability of 353 and 354 service;
- Summertime bus times in operation on First Greater Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester routes;
- Slight tweaks to some tendered services.
The summertime changes are usually quieter than the spring and autumn service changes. This summer’s no exception with the bulk of changes being the adoption of School Holiday Timetables.
Apart from the obvious, a few more permanent tweaks have been made to our tendered services. The biggest change within Tameside concerns the 353 route in Mossley. Since the early days of bus deregulation there has been a link from Arundel Street to Waterton Lane. From the 23 July, the 353 will no longer serve Waterton Lane.
At present, Optare Solo minibuses are regular fare on the Saddleworth routes; nothing else could negotiate Waterton Lane nor reverse at the top of the said street. Perhaps we could see Wright StreetLites on the two routes in place of, or as well as, the Solos. As was the case before bus deregulation, a modest walk to Arundel Street. Or the footbridge from the flats between the end of Waterton Lane and Hart Mill Close (OS Map Grid Reference: SD 96893 02815) for Lees Road. Which is fine for physically fit passengers who need to catch the 340 or 343.
Sticking with Top Mossley bus routes, Stagecoach Manchester’s website states that Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys of the 340 (daytimes only) will see minor timetable changes. On closer observation, the ‘changed’ timetable stops at all the same points at exactly the same times as TfGM’s Bus Guide. A number of stops are missed out, particularly those at Dukinfield [Albion Hotel] and Grotton.
Google Maps displays the correct times for the omitted stops (seen in TfGM’s Bus Guide). Where it slips up is the omission of Stagecoach Manchester in relation to the 340 route. It only details the early to mid evening weekday and Saturday operator First Greater Manchester. Take a tip from us: stick to the Transport for Greater Manchester’s bus guide.
This is also true of the changes to the 342 Hyde – Backbower Circular service. Whereas there are no changes for the 340 timetable (in spite of Stagecoach’s printed and online publicity materials), their 23 July timetable is unchanged.
The previous timetable, effective from the 30 October 2017, has the 342s returning to Hyde bus station for 20 minutes past the hour. The new weekday timetable sees 342s returning to Hyde bus station for 18 minutes past the hour. Again, download the Bus Guide from TfGM’s website or call into the Travelshop on Hyde bus station.
One service that will be seeing minor timing changes is the 41. MCT Travel’s service to Tennyson Avenue will depart from Ashton-under-Lyne at the present day times. Instead, an extra two minutes will be given to evening journeys. They will stop at Boyd’s Walk/Armadale Road at 25 to the hour instead of 27 minutes to the hour (and 2345 for the last journey – previously 2343).
If you get the 168 to Chorlton-cum-Hardy, there will be an additional weekday journey from Ashton-under-Lyne bus station. This will depart at 0614 on weekdays.
Glossop service changes
Apart from the introduction of summertime bus times on the 236 and 237 routes, there was one change that slipped through the net in our round-ups. This affects the 390 service which has, since the 18 June this year, ceased to serve Shire Hill Hospital. The hospital closed on the Saturday before the service change [16 June].
Slightly further afield
From the 22 July 2018, two express services will no longer be serving Greater Manchester. After much publicity since its autumn 2017, Transdev’s CityZap service from Manchester to Leeds will be withdrawn. Besides offering an alternative to the train, passengers could also board from Chadderton and Outlane which enabled it to operate as an express stage carriage service.
On a sadder note, Greater Manchester will no longer be served by High Peak’s TransPeak service to Derby. Of late, standard single decker buses instead of coaches have been seen on the full route from Manchester [Chorlton Street] which may have put off a few passengers. Historically, under Trent Motor Services’ control, vehicles have previously included dual purpose buses or express coaches.
Any passengers travelling from Longsight and Stockport to Buxton, Matlock or Derby, will be at the mercy of Northern’s service to Buxton. Thankfully, the hourly TPs to Derby will begin at the railway station. In the longer term, Greater Manchester really does need improved rail connections with the East Midlands. Perhaps reopening the Buxton to Derby route might do the trick.
- 7: Ashton-under-Lyne – Droylsden – Gorton – Denton – Reddish – Stockport – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 168: Ashton-under-Lyne – Belle Vue – Longsight – Fallowfield – Chorlton-cum-Hardy – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 201: Hattersley – Hyde – Denton – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 204: Hyde – Haughton Green – Denton – Gorton – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 205: Denton – Dane Bank – Gorton – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 206: Gee Cross – Hyde – Haughton Green – Denton – West Gorton – Ardwick – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 207:Gee Cross – Hyde – Haughton Green – Denton – West Gorton – Ardwick – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 216: Ashton-under-Lyne – Droylsden – Clayton – Bradford – Ancoats – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 219:Ashton-under-Lyne – Audenshaw – Fairfield – Openshaw – Beswick – Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 220: Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Openshaw – Audenshaw – Dukinfield – Stalybridge – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 221: Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Openshaw – Audenshaw – Dukinfield – Tennyson Avenue – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 231: Manchester [Piccadilly Gardens] – Clayton – Droylsden – Littlemoss – Hartshead – Tameside Hospital – Ashton-under-Lyne – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 236: Ashton-under-Lyne – Stalybridge – Mottram-in-Longdendale – Woolley Bridge – Glossop – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 237: Ashton-under-Lyne – Stalybridge – Mottram-in-Longdendale – Hadfield – Glossop – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 327: Denton – Brinnington – Portwood – Stockport – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 330: Ashton-under-Lyne – Dukinfield – Hyde – Woodley – Stockport – Manchester Airport – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 345: Ashton-under-Lyne – Dukinfield – Audenshaw – Denton [Pendle Road] – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 347: Ashton-under-Lyne – Guide Bridge – Audenshaw – Denton – Haughton Green – Stagecoach Manchester;
- 348: Carrbrook – Copley – Stalybridge – Cockbrook – Ashton-under-Lyne – First Greater Manchester;
- 409: Rochdale – Oldham – Ashton-under-Lyne – First Greater Manchester.
The next quarter could be interesting. With the cloud of bus franchising in the air, Autumn’s changes could be more critical. With First and Stagecoach hanging fire on new bus purchases in Greater Manchester, will they be maintaining their existing market share? Will there be any changes that will affect Tameside and Glossop bus users. Time to get strapped in for the next ride.
S.V., 16 July 2018.