Tameside Bus Service Changes, Winter 2018

More tinkering around at the edges

  • Retimed 206, 347 and 350 routes;
  • Revised route on 341 service.

In the Tameside area for once, very few changes to report with the biggest changes affecting the 341 service.

Stott’s Tours’ 341 service, as discussed in our previous round up will see a change of route. Off-peak journeys will no longer serve Backbower, in favour of approaching Hattersley via Stockport Road.

The new timetable will only see one journey from Backbower to Hyde (0830 on weekdays, 0841 on Saturdays) with two in the opposite direction to Glossop (1723 and 1829 on weekdays, 1712 and 1812 on Saturdays). The hourly 342 (clockwise) and 344 (anticlockwise) services will offer Backbower’s only links with Hyde town centre.

The ‘joys’ of congestion have led to Stagecoach Manchester’s changes for the 206 service in Gee Cross. Its eastbound journey at 0640 will depart from Piccadilly Gardens at 0625. In the opposite direction, the 0753 journey will depart from Gee Cross at 0738. Some minor changes have also been made to the weekday times of the 347 service.

Subtle changes will be made to the 350‘s weekday service in the timing department. The only tangible change affecting this route is the loss of a part route Schooldays Only journey from Waterhead to Saddleworth School. This, till the 29 October 2018, is the only non-First Greater Manchester journey (operated by Rosso).

Further afield…

Manchester city centre’s Metroshuttle services will be changed from the 28 October. Firstly, its three routes will be simplified into two routes. To soften the blow a little, the Metroshuttle will now be known as the Free Bus. With a yellow livery, looking similar to Cumfybus’ efforts, route 1 will be a circular route from Manchester Piccadilly railway station via Piccadilly Gardens, Deansgate, and King Street before returning via Chorlton Street.

Route 2 will take in the sights, sounds, and shops of Manchester city centre, focusing on its tourist attractions. From Piccadilly it offers a link to Victoria via the Gay Village, Castlefield and Deansgate, before returning to Piccadilly via Shudehill and the Northern Quarter. During the peaks, Salford Central station is also served.

Unlike its present trio of routes, there will be more Free Buses on weekdays and Saturdays – with journeys running till 10pm. Public holiday and Sunday journeys will finish for 6pm.

Whatever next?

In some cases, the closest set of service changes to Hallowe’en were a case of treat rather than trick. Hydonians living on Grange Road might not be too pleased with changes to the 341 service.

If anything, the more fundamental changes to our network may arise in late January 2019. An uneasy peace? One wonders.

S.V., 24 October 2018.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Michael Tinker says:

    shame pioneer depot shut 350 service was better then i can see a big rewrite this weekend with FGM be good when the new Ashton bus station is built


    1. Hi Michael,

      In terms of the 350’s reliability, you are spot on about the present service. Since the closure of Dukinfield garage I knew this would have had happened. More than ever, due to the state of Mossley’s trains (operated by another First subsidiary), there is room for improvement on that route.

      Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station Mark 4 (properly known as the Tameside Transport Interchange) should be done by 2020. The new road layout might make for longer running times from Albion Way junction to the bus station.

      After the Market/’Spoons bus stops, the journey past the Prince of Orange will see buses approach the bus terminal via Oldham Road, Gas Street and Peel Street. Instead of a long ride, passengers may be dropped off at any of the shelters surrounding the tram stop.




  2. Michael Tinker says:

    i see FGM as the dumping ground for old buses where it use to be south west and i will say this i would rather travel on the latter as they improved so much over past 2 years i would like to see someone like Nexus or stotts get more services


  3. Leeds says:

    What would really help is real time information (like in West Yorkshire) and drivers communicating with passengers. I travelled on a 350 from Uppermill to Ashton recently, the upper deck was sealed off due to an ill passenger and the bus had to be taken out of service at Ashton. The driver didn’t inform the passengers waiting for the return journey because when I passed the stop 10 mins later, a very large queue of angry passengers were taking their fury out on the next driver who hadn’t a clue why the previous bus just drove off. Real time information helps those without flashy phones, and especially those who don’t want to use their credit (very understandable) to know how long the next bus to where they are going will be. Greater Manchester is badly lacking in this department which is very surprising for such a massive urban area. Mind you it could be worse, nearby in parts of Derbyshire such as Dinting Road, or Tintwistle village some stops don’t even have route direction, route number or timetable information, that’s really bad!


    1. Michael Tinker says:

      when the 350 from Oldham gets to Ashton the bus then does the Micklehurst turnround with the bus coming into Ashton from Micklehurst then does the full route to Oldham


  4. Philip Longdon says:

    RTI has been a long running problem in TFGM. Usually combination of no money and technical issues. The latter (and probably the former) exacerbated by the sheer number of Operators (though that is now falling) and the sheer number of service changes (which is not only increasing in general, but due to various reasons – reduction back to 42 days notice; Operators failing to negotiate slots and ever increasing emergency timetables due to roadworks)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Philip Longdon says:

    Just to flesh out my last comment on notice periods. The new rules are that Operators should inform the relevant local authorities of their plans with 70 days notice. This is primarily so that such as TFGM can plan possible reactions to major cuts, route changes or complete withdrawals, but also to co-ordinate bus station slots. Unfortunately, despite years of local disputes regarding the latter, Operators are actually getting worse at requesting slot changes on shared stands. All these issues should be sorted before the final registration is submitted with 42 days notice.
    As regards Tameside; IF this procedure is being followed, it would seem very few changes will happen in January and hopefully nothing more than retimings to improve punctuality. Notwithstanding, not being at liberty to reveal anything anyway, I have purely received a list of service numbers changing and absolutely no details of the changes.


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