In Pictures: A Sneak Peek of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange

A look at Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station Mark 4

From the 30 August 2020, the fourth (and smartest) version of Ashton-under-Lyne bus station will be taking its first passengers. Earlier today [23 August], it was open to let passengers familiarise themselves with the surroundings and, most importantly, stand positions. With the wet weather, it proved its worth with some passers-by who sheltered from the rain.

The main terminal building has nine stands (E – H and J – N). Six of which are bays where buses pull in and reverse outwards. Three of them are standard bus stands which allow for quick alighting and boarding. There are four satellite shelters (A – D) dotted around the Metrolink station platforms. D stand is the longest of the four shelters, designed for coaches and school buses.

Since the start of March, three satellite shelters have been in use for some routes, including the 348, 350, and 7. The bus station was originally going to open in Spring of this year, but COVID-19 and gale force winds (before the lockdown) stymied its progress.

Countdown to opening

Between now and the 29 August 2020, Ashton’s buses will continue to use the temporary stands on Gas Street and Wellington Road, and C to G stands from the old bus station. From Monday, the TfGM Travelshop will be in operation from the new Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange building. This will be open from 0830 – 1630 on weekdays and Saturdays with an hour’s break for lunch.

From opening day, passenger creature comforts will include real time information of forthcoming bus departures. The toilet facilities will be a dramatic improvement on the two Superloos. The Gents Toilet comes well equipped with high level and standard level cisterns. Urinals are available at standard and lower heights, as are the Dyson Airblade hand driers. Disabled passengers will be well catered for with two lavatories – one of which being a Changing Places toilet. Baby Changing Facilities will also be available.

A convenience store will soon be added to the bus station. At present, there is an ample gap between the six bays (E – H, J and K) and M stands, which could be a future seating area for a coffee shop. Apart from much improved toilet facilities, there will be a cash machine – a welcome addition which Hyde bus station has had since 2004. This will be located near Stand E.

Close to Stands E and F is the new TfGM Travelshop. Unlike the previous one, this will be a simpler affair with service from two ticket windows. This is attached to the Bus Station Office. Timetables will be positioned on the right hand side of the windows and available to pick up outside of Travelshop opening hours. Above the Travelshop is a real time departure board, which will display train and tram departure times. Another welcome move.

The interchange’s main entrance is on Wellington Road, close to one of three sculptures by Michael Condron. The first one is shaped like a tree, in the style of route maps. The other two are mounted on walls in the main terminal building. Mr. Condron has previously made sculptures for the Portland Basin Museum and each sculpture is a nod to Tameside’s transport heritage. Also making this possible were the schoolchildren at Millbrook, Corrie, and Broadbent Fold primary schools, plus the Stitch in Time and Knit and Natter groups. There was also input from local shoppers and visitors at Portland Basin Museum.

Stand Positions

The layout of the new look Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange.

Of particular interest is the allocation of stands in the new bus station. All the Manchester routes use stands A, B, C and D, which surround the Metrolink station. Should the worst happen to the trams, passengers could board a 216 from Stand B. Or a 219 from Stand C.

Stand N is the preserve of local Ashton and Denton routes – many of which are TfGM tendered routes. Satellite Stand D will also be used by School Buses, Holiday Coaches and Excursion Coaches.

A (Wellington Road)

  • 7: Stockport (via Droylsden, Gorton, Dane Bank, Reddish and Heaton Chapel);
  • 7A: Stockport (via Droylsden, Gorton, Reddish and Heaton Chapel);
  • 7B: Stockport (via Droylsden, Gorton, Dane Bank, Reddish and Heaton Chapel) – evenings, Sundays and Bank Holidays Only;
  • 217: Wythenshawe Hospital (via Droylsden, Clayton, Piccadilly Gardens, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Withington, West Didsbury, Northenden and Baguley) – Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys begin at Droylsden [Metrolink station], terminating at Dale Street.

B (Wellington Road)

  • 216: Piccadilly Gardens (via Audenshaw [Ryecroft Hall], Droylsden, Clayton, Ashton New Road, and Ancoats).

C (Wellington Road)

  • 219: Piccadilly Gardens (via Audenshaw [Trough], Openshaw, Ashton Old Road, and Ardwick).

D (opposite Metrolink station)

  • 216: Stalybridge (via Stamford Square and Thompson Cross) – peak hours only;
  • 219: Stalybridge (via Stamford Square and Thompson Cross) – peak hours only;
  • 219: Glossop (via Stalybridge, Hollingworth, Tintwistle and Hadfield) – Night Bus: Friday Night/Saturday Morning only;
  • 230: Piccadilly Gardens (via Littlemoss, Droylsden and Ashton New Road);
  • 231: Piccadilly Gardens (via Tameside Hospital, Hartshead, Broadoak, Littlemoss, Droylsden and Ashton New Road);
  • 232: Smallshaw (via Hurst Cross and Hartshead) – evenings only;
  • Coaches;
  • School Buses.

E

  • 409: Rochdale (via Hathershaw, Oldham, Royton and Thornham).

F

  • 389: Dukinfield [Yew Tree Lane] (via Darnton Road, Ridge Hill Estate, Stalybridge and Cheetham Hill Road).

G

  • 346: Hyde (via Dukinfield [Albion Hotel] and Newton [Cheshire Cheese]) – evening journeys continue to Gee Cross via Stockport Road.

H

  • 350: Oldham (via Tameside Hospital, Mossley, Hey Farm Estate, Greenfield, Uppermill, Dobcross, Delph, Scouthead, Waterhead and Greenacres).

J

  • 348: Carrbrook (via Stamford Square, Stalybridge, Copley and Millbrook).

K

  • 237: Glossop (via Beaufort Road, Stalybridge, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Hollingworth, Tintwistle, Hadfield and Dinting).

L

  • 347: Haughton Green (via Guide Bridge, Hooley Hill and Denton [Crown Point]).

M

  • 330: Stockport (via Dukinfield [Town Hall], Newton Wood, Hyde, Gee Cross, Woodley, Bredbury and Portwood).

N

  • 335: Denton [Town Lane Circular] (via Dukinfield [Astley Street], Audenshaw [St. Anne’s Estate] and Crown Point);
  • 336: Hazelhurst Circular (clockwise via Smallshaw, Hartshead and Mossley Road);
  • 337: Hazelhurst Circular (anticlockwise via Mossley Road, Hartshead and Smallshaw);
  • 339: Crowhill Circular (via Richmond Street);
  • 345: Denton [Pendle Road Circular] (via Dukinfield [Astley Street], Audenshaw [Corporation Street] and Crown Point);
  • 356: Oldham (via Stalybridge [Bus Station], Heyrod, Mossley, Roughtown, Greenfield, Uppermill, Diggle, Dobcross, Delph, Denshaw, Moorside, Watersheddings and Greenacres);
  • 396: Newton Heath (via Hurst, Smallshaw, Waterloo, Limehurst Farm Estate, Bardsley, Fitton Hill, Hathershaw, Hollinwood, Failsworth, Brookdale Park and Newton Heath) – evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys terminate at Limehurst Farm Estate;
  • 419: Middleton (via Waterloo, Bardsley, Hathershaw, Chadderton, Fitton Park and Mills Hill).

Please note that all stand positions are effective from the 30 August 2020 and may be subject to change. (At this time of writing, we have yet to receive details of the stand position for GB Coaches’ North Western journeys on the 236 route).

The Pictures

Here’s our visual record of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, a week before its opening.

From Stand E, a view towards the TfGM Travelshop windows.
From Stand E, a view towards the TfGM Travelshop windows.
A view of Stand E, which will be used by the 409 route.
A view of Stand E, which will be used by the 409 route.
A view of bay stands G and F, which will be used by the 346 and 41A routes respectively.
A look at some of the bay stands with Stands G and F in full view of the camera.
Some examples of overhead signage beside Stand L.
A view of Stand L with some examples of signage.
The main waiting area.
The main waiting area. Sparse at present due to the social distancing that is required, probably awaiting some chairs and a café of some description. The retail unit that will arrive is going to be a convenience store.
One of Michael Condron's wall mounted sculptures.
One of Michael Condron’s wall mounted sculptures.
A closer look at Stand G, which will be the 346's stand.
A closer look at Stand G, which will be the 346’s stand.
A closer look at the TfGM Information and Tickets windows.
A closer look at the TfGM Information and Tickets windows.
A view of Stand N, which will be one of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange's busier stands.
A view of Stand N, which will be one of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange’s busier stands.
A colour view of Stand B, which will be used by the 216 route to Piccadilly Gardens.
A colour view of Stand B, which will be used by the 216 route to Piccadilly Gardens.
A view of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange's southerly entrances.
A view of Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange’s southerly entrances.
Another one of Michael Condron's sculptures, inspired by the poetic works of Francis Thompson.
Another one of Michael Condron’s sculptures. This one is inspired by the works of Francis Thompson.
A view of the Gents' Toilets in Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange.
A view of the Gents’ Toilets in Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange. I was the only person using the facilities at the time. It is also the most expensive photograph of this collection; it cost me 20p to produce this image.

S.V., 23 August 2020.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Elaine says:

    Looks fantastic,it has been worth waiting for.

    Like

    1. Hi Elaine,

      I would say it is well worth the wait, and a real advance on any of the previous three bus stations that Ashton-under-Lyne has had. The only thing that would make it The Ultimate Ashton Bus Station is the resurrection of The Wooden Spoon and Bakers TV and Radio. (Oh, and Woolworths nearby).

      My criticism of Ashton bus station Mark 3 is its waiting environment after dark. If you are waiting a bit longer for your post-7pm bus, I prefer the single terminal layout of the new version to any one of five covered platforms in the previous design. Since 2004 – 05, I have preferred Hyde bus station to Ashton bus station if travelling after dark (so long as The Bike and Hound doesn’t lead me astray).

      The free ATM is a welcome addition – and a long time coming for many Ashtonians. If you cannot walk that far, and stuck between buses, it beats crossing the road to the Arcades Shopping Centre. More so with the windy cash machines outside the Halifax bank.

      Its real test will be the 01 September when we get as near possible towards a full weekday timetable. Also when the schools come back, which would add a few more bus movements in the AM and PM peaks.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

      Like

  2. Shell says:

    Hopefully now 356 has it’s own bus stop the bus can actually come in instead of nbr7 and 231 I 4hink the other is, double decker always pulls up approx 9 minutes the driver disappears for and then to get the 356 it’s like go down to the bottom or it has to pull up at the side, first couldn’t give a monkeys.

    Like

    1. Hi Shell,

      The 356s will be sharing the same stand as the 335, 336, 337, 339, 345, 396 and 419 routes. With the exception of the 336 and 337 [Hazelhurst Circular] routes, most routes including the 356 are operated by minibuses and midibuses. Which take up less room than standard single deckers and double deckers.

      Furthermore, Stand N is a double bay stand, which means a 356 could briefly share the same stand as a 419. In the daytime, this would be used by eight to ten buses an hour. On Sundays and Bank Holidays before 7pm, it would only be used by five and a half buses per hour (the 356 is every two hours).

      As for your concerns with the 7s and 231s ‘pushing in’, they have been moved to Stand A and Stand D respectively.

      Warmly,

      Stuart.

      Like

  3. Another one of Start’s masterpieces. Good to see the 330 to Stockport return to the bus station from its current outlier situation.

    Like

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