Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, 27 January 2019

Hyde gains enhanced South Manchester links at Ashton’s expense

  • 168 rerouted and renumbered as 150;
  • Boosted 7 and 230 services bridge gap left by 168’s withdrawal;
  • 217 service rerouted via Ashton Old Road;
  • Plus the usual slight tweaks.

If you live in the Stagecoach part of Tameside, our borough is at the sharp end of their latest changes. Most of the changes concern timetable retimings whereas the biggest change affects their East Manchester routes. By contrast, only one First Greater Manchester route has been affected by this month’s service changes.

Hyde’s link to the intu Trafford Centre

Tameside is set to get its first regular bus link with the intu Trafford Centre – almost 21 years after its opening. In 90 minutes with two buses per hour for most of the day, Hydonians will be able to catch the 150 to the out-of-town shopping centre.

From Hyde, it will follow the 201 route up to Belle Vue. Thereafter, it will follow the outgoing 168 route up to Chorlton (via Longsight, Fallowfield) and continue to the intu Trafford Centre via Trafford Park.

With the 168 rerouted and renumbered, this will see changes to four other Stagecoach Manchester routes. Firstly, the 231 will be half hourly and continue to terminate at Ashton bus station via Tameside Hospital. As for the 231’s part route journeys to Littlemoss, they will be renumbered as the 230. Almost reviving Mayne of Manchester’s former Droylsden TESCO route, they will observe the 216 route up to Cemetery Road, turning at Fiveways Roundabout towards Greenside Lane and Sunnyside Road.

After Littlemoss, it will take over the Ashton – Littlemoss – Droylsden section of the 168/169 route. The northern section of Greenside Lane up to Clock House Avenue will no longer be served.

Also affected by Droylsden’s service changes is the 7 route. Retaining its half hourly frequency, it will be rerouted via Jetson Street, Openshaw. Its sister route the 7A will run between Gorton and Stockport. Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys will follow the weekday and Saturday route. Furthermore, part route journeys of the 7 service will be introduced between Ashton and Gorton, partially replacing the 168. MCT Travel will be the operator with evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys on the 7 route.

Its Dane Bank to Denton section will be covered by the 205 service (which presently terminates at Dane Bank on Sundays and Bank Holidays).

With the 217, its Sunday and Bank Holiday service will be curtailed to run from Manchester to Droylsden, with Droylsden’s Metrolink interchange as its revised terminus. All journeys, whether in full or part route form will see a change of route south of Edge Lane. The revised route will cover the full length of Edge Lane, joining Fairfield Street and Ashton Old Road. Instead of Shudehill Interchange, Piccadilly Gardens will be its Manchester terminus in line with its evening journeys.

Retimings

Among the retimed routes include the 220 from Piccadilly Gardens to Stalybridge bus station. The ghost route (a weekdays only single eastbound journey) will depart at 0638, three minutes later than present. There will also be timetable tweaks for passengers using the 201, 216, and 219 routes.

Over to what is predominantly FirstGroup territory, the 409‘s AM peak journeys will be retimed. Likewise with Stagecoach Manchester’s Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys on the 340 route from Oldham to Hyde.

Forthcoming changes

The next set of changes will be effective from the 27 April 2019. By then, Britons may be getting used to life in post-Brexit Britain and bracing themselves for yet more austerity.

Though we are months away from the re-regulation of Greater Manchester’s buses, could Andy Burnham have no buses left to re-regulate? Forthcoming changes may see most of the 340 service withdrawn, reverting to plain old 343. This time, as part of a 343 service without evening journeys and a two-hourly Sunday and Bank Holiday service. Thus giving the 343 the kind of service levels you would expect in public transport deserts like Lincolnshire.

As we have said on countless occasions in our look at forthcoming service changes, the ones after Eastertide are usually the worst. The most savage. Between now and the 27 April 2019, get those taxi numbers added to your phone if you have a spare two minutes.

S.V., 16 January 2019.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark Branson says:

    The changing of the 168 to the 150 seems to me a pointless change that breaks up thee long-established links between South Manchester and Ashton. It doesn’t seem to me that it will benefit Hydonians much. You can get to intu Trafford Centre just as quick (or even quicker) by catching the 201 to Manchester then the X50. In Denton the 150 will restore links to certain areas of South Manchester that were lost when the 170 service Stagecoach inherited from Mayne ceased to operate. From what I remember the 170 never carried many passengers.

    Makes you wonder how out-of-touch touch the decision-makers at Stagecoach are, with the needs and desires of their passengers.

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    1. Hi Mark,

      The changes to the 168 and its diversion to the intu Trafford Centre took me by surprise and baffled me simultaneously. Realistically, few people will travel all the way from Hyde to the Trafford Centre. It may be of value to you if you live in Longsight or Fallowfield as an extra journey option instead of changing at Chorlton.

      As for getting from Ashton to Belle Vue, a change of bus in Gorton where one direct 168/169 would have helped. Before the 1990s, Ashtonians would have had to change at Droylsden to watch the Belle Vue Aces or the greyhounds (the 168/169 and one of its predecessors used to terminate in Droylsden). It is good that Hyde has extra buses along Hyde Road from Belle Vue to Hyde, though I would have preferred to see a new 125/225 limited stop route from Piccadilly Gardens to Glossop instead.

      I remember Tameside’s previous Trafford Centre route, the 600. What a roaring success that was: a return journey on Saturdays from Mossley [Hey Farm] to Trafford Centre (via Mossley, Ashton, Denton, Brinnington, the M60 motorway and Stretford Arndale). That only lasted till August 1999 after its inauguration in September 1998.

      Roll on Greater Manchester’s franchised bus network. In spite of the 168 changes, I may still be mad enough to ride on its forerunner along the full route!

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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  2. Do you know what route it will take beyond the 168 in withington Stuart? The Trafford Park leg seems vague on all outlets?

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    1. Hi Stephen,

      Withington seems to be an error on Stagecoach Manchester’s part. The present (soon-to-be-going predecessor) 168 doesn’t touch Withington at all; strictly speaking, Moseley Road is in Fallowfield.

      From Levenshulme, it will follow the 168 route to Chorlton-cum-Hardy via Moseley Road and Wilbraham Road. As it will also be a partial replacement for the 23A service, it will follow the 23A’s route to the intu Trafford Centre. That is via (what’s left of) Stretford Arndale Centre, the Kellogg’s factory off Park Road, and Barton Dock Road before reaching the intu Trafford Centre bus station.

      I hope this is helpful enough; my source was Stagecoach Manchester’s journey planning tool for a westbound journey leaving Hyde at 1020 on the 28 January 2019.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

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  3. littleashy says:

    Stagecoach have got no idea when it comes to a bus ‘service’, I emailed then and gave them some ‘feedback’ regarding the forthcoming 168 changes: they replied, saying the 168 had made a loss for “several years”. Why does it have to be decker all the time? There’s loads of more economical and environmentally friendly, smaller buses for sake. Indeed Dennis/ALX 200SWB, might have been better than fuelling double deckers all the time. Sadly, if you don’t live on or near a major road, then Stagecoach is not your ally. As for the 217, I wish I had a pound for every change on that service, another route deserted by Stagecoach. I wish people would stop talking about the much needed remedies to Manchesters’ buses, and actually do something. Clipping Stagecoach and Firstbuses wings would be a good start

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    1. Hi Littleashy2,

      I can understand why many of Stagecoach’s routes use double deckers. With a higher degree of standardisation in their fleet, it makes sourcing parts easier due to bulk discounts, thus improving maintenance. It also allows for extra capacity if an earlier service is late or missing (whether by – for arguments sake – Stagecoach, or A.N. Other company).

      As for smaller buses, Stagecoach could have considered that avenue for the 168. At one time, GMS Buses (and GM Buses before then) used to have ex-Centreline Dennis Domino midibuses. This was not long after the 382 was absorbed by the 168/169 routes. The fairly similar in nature 171/172 routes use single deckers as standard so it could have been done.

      One of Stagecoach’s longer routes, the 7, used to see Dennis Dart SLFs and MANs, though double deckers have made a more regular appearance. The 346 is predominantly operated using Enviro200s, though double deckers put in odd appearances.

      I think you may be a millionaire if you kept every pound per change made to the 217 service since 1996. It has seen its original route extended to Mossley to compensate for the withdrawal of the circular 232 – 235 Mayne of Manchester routes (curtailed in 2014).

      As you may remember, Mayne operated the route for a while till its bus operations were sold to Stagecoach Manchester. I remember when other operators have included UK North and S&S Travel Services.

      As to when we can clip the big bus owning giants’ wings, we eagerly await Andy Burnham’s proposals to re-regulate our buses. I wonder which template the Mayor of Greater Manchester would use?

      Bye for now,

      Stuart.

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  4. Philip Longdon says:

    As I understand it, the current 168 specifically had 6 Enviro200s moved to Sharston to run it. The remaining five or so workings retaining double deckers partly due to lack of availibility but mainly due to school time loadings. I too, don’t understand why the 150 starts at Hyde as running from Belle Vue only (no turning arrangements in Gorton) would save one, possibly two buses. As mentioned, there is little demand for buses on this side of M’cr to go to the Trafford Centre, although I know intu want better bus services for staff. If you are going to go to the Trafford Centre, it would be quicker to get an existing bus along Hyde Road and then the X50. Indeed, what is the point of running so many X50 branded buses on 201/203, if not for subliminal advertising.

    As for franchising/re-regulation, this looks less and less likely to happen as it is being hijacked by ClientEarth and Grayling will keep stalling until the May 2020 Mayoral elections.

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  5. Steve Hyde says:

    It’s nice to see Hyde get a new service for a change after losing several services over the last few years. Ashtonians can’t complain, they have a bus service which is exceptional for a town of it’s size, more bus services than some bigger towns, so I’m not sorry it’s lost out for once.

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  6. Philip Longdon says:

    Steve, I think you’ve missed the point. The 168 mainly served Sunnyside, Droylsden, Openshaw and Abbey Hey rather than “Ashtonians”. Besides, Ashton and most of south Tameside has lower than average car ownership and historically the borough’s services were very profitable and well loaded beyond the peaks. I doubt the service is that “exceptional” for a town of 45,000 people. As regards Hyde, yes its a new service but doesn’t really offer much other than avoiding changing buses in Piccadilly. Otherwise, combining the 201 with the X50 (both every 10 minutes) is quicker than crawling all round south Manchester on what I’m guessing is a less than luxurious Enviro400. The only exception might be Sundays. Just to modify my point; Gorton Shopping Centre is of course, a much better terminus for passengers than Belle Vue and whilst turning arrangements aren’t brilliant, it has been done with full size buses regularly before. Also, looking more closely, it would save two peak buses (not just one) which would be far more useful either restoring a proper 30 minute service to the 7 and/or any number of options to reverse insidious cuts on Hyde Road corridor.

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