Welcome return for Hyde – Tintwistle – Glossop bus route
- 397 service revived after eight year gap;
- 396 rerouting in Smallshaw and Hurst?
- Tweaks to 409’s daytime service.
If you have read about FirstGroup’s changes for the Oldham and Saddleworth area, you will be happy to find that the latest service changes in Tameside and Glossop makes for calmer reading.
For once, we have this rare beast of a new bus service. Or more specifically, a revived bus service. A link that has been severed since June 2011.
The return of the 397 route
In most recent times, the 341 route has been Hyde’s only bus route from Glossop to Hyde. With its meandering route, you may need sandwiches (though I would refrain from eating them whilst on Melandra Castle Road due to the humps).
Before June 2011, SpeedwellBus operated the 397 route from Hyde to Glossop via Tintwistle and Dinting. Funding had cut the route from once hourly to five return journeys, leading to its withdrawal and a campaign to save the route on social media.
From the 28 October, GB Coaches of Audenshaw will be reinstating this all-important link. At present, car-less Hydonians need to walk from John Kennedy Road to Back Moor for a 237, in order to complete their journey to Hollingworth or Tintwistle.
The new service will operate every hour from Monday to Saturday, departing from Hyde bus station at five past the hour (from 0805 to 1705). In the opposite direction, five past the hour from Glossop [Henry Street] from 0905 to 1805. Two return journeys will call at Heath Road (0948 and 1148 to Glossop, 1107 and 1307 to Hyde).
From Glossop to Hyde, the journey time is 48 minutes. Glossop to Hadfield via Dinting Road is 16 minutes, avoiding the TESCO roadblock on High Street West. Hattersley to Tintwistle is a mere 12 minutes from John Kennedy Road.
We hope the 397 route gets a good reception. As always, System One Any Bus season tickets will cover the route in its entirety. For pensioners’ pass holders, the earliest 397 to Glossop from Hyde (and vice versa) are the 1005 journeys.
Other service changes
As detailed in our Oldham and Saddleworth changes, the 396 route from Newton Heath to Ashton-under-Lyne will be tweaked. It is proposed that its route in Hurst and Smallshaw will be reviewed to cover more areas left high and dry by FirstGroup’s September changes.
The only FirstGroup route that will be seeing changes this month will be the 409. Its weekday and Saturday service will be seeing a slight change in frequency. This time from every being 10 minutes to every 9 minutes. A welcome move, but nothing on the halcyon days when the ‘9 bus used to be every six minutes in 2002 (albeit with smaller Mercedes Citaro buses).
Stagecoach Manchester will be rejigging the times of four routes. These include the retiming of morning journeys on the 330 from Ashton to Stockport. Their 336 and 337 Hurst Circular routes, and their Coke Zero version of the 389 route will also be retimed. Since the previous set of service changes, there has been reports of poor timekeeping and missing buses. Other complaints include the omission of Hague Estate and Stalybridge bus station from the newly revised route.
Apart from the revived 397 route, no other changes are proposed for Glossop bus passengers. As far as cutbacks are concerned, the biggest one entails concessionary fares.
Whilst 16 to 17 year olds in Greater Manchester will be enjoying free bus travel through TfGM’s Our Pass, spare a thought for those in Glossop. To save £88,000, Derbyshire County Council will be scrapping the b_line discount scheme.
At present, there are two b_lines: b_line 1 allows for child fares like the iGo pass in TfGMland. The b_line 2 offers a 25% discount for bus and train fares for full time college students and apprentices and more akin to the long-defunct Teen Travel Club.
Therefore, from the age of eleven onwards, you have to pay adult fares if you fancy a trip to the Peak District. According to Derbyshire County Council, bus operators and rail franchises offer superior schemes. If you live in Glossop, Stagecoach Manchester’s EasyRider only covers the Greater Manchester area. Regular passengers can buy a cross-boundary season ticket, but there is one problem: the 237 is operated by MCT Travel after 7pm.
Therefore, senior school children travelling from Tintwistle to Glossop will have to pay full fare if they only make sporadic journeys. The fare doesn’t come cheap at £2.50 for an adult single. Apart from losing discounted fares, they also lose other discounts that go towards stationery for college. Is there a case for moving Glossop into the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, using the same boundaries as the Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group?
We hope GB Coaches will make a success of the 397 route and that proposed changes to the 396 will mitigate the worst excesses of FirstGroup’s cuts. From Monday, all eyes will be focused on Transport for Greater Manchester’s public consultation towards a franchised bus network.
As soon as the consultation documents are released, please take the time to fight for better bus services in Tameside. If you’re held hostage by the 389’s omission of Hague Estate or cannot get to Hyde after 6pm, drop everything else for this worthwhile exercise. Get it done as soon as you can; I mean, what’s the point of having a brand spanking new bus station in Ashton if there’s no buses running at all?
S.V., 10 October 2019.