Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200, SN67 WVJ, Stockport bus station

Social Distancing On The Buses, Greater Manchester Style

A look at how social distancing is being upheld on Greater Manchester’s bus routes

Scene One: Gem Travel Luxton depot

Stan Butler Junior has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps by working in the bus industry. He drives the 346 to Cemetery Gates, originally the 11 and 11A before National Bus Company took over Luxton and District. After privatisation, it became part of the Molesway Group, which became part of Easyway in 1995. In 1998, Easyway Luxton was sold to its management before falling into Gem Travel’s hands in 2007.

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Stagecoach Manchester Enviro200 MX11 HHC, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Measures: Changes to Greater Manchester Bus Services

Important information for bus passengers during the Coronavirus situation

Due to concerns with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, there will be a reduced service on Greater Manchester’s bus routes. Generally, the City Region’s bus operators will either run a Saturday service or an enhanced Sunday service. This is in line with new government advice around social contact and non-essential travel to help combat the Coronavirus.

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Northern Nationalised: Franchise Transfers from Arriva Rail North to DfT

Northern franchise taken over by DfT as Operator of Last Resort from the 01 March

After several rumours and persistent lobbying by Northern English political figures in the last six months, it was announced today that Arriva lost its Northern rail franchise. Under the Anglo-German company’s tenure, the rail franchise was dogged by poor service, delayed rolling stock deliveries and gross overcrowding.

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Enviro400, First Greater Manchester, Oldham bus station

Greater Manchester Bus Fare Changes, January 2020

What’s going up, what’s staying the same, and what’s going down?

This year’s bus fare changes could be fairly grim for some passengers, particularly those in North Manchester. The 02 January 2020 sees the expiration of the Diamond Bus North West/Go North West/First Greater Manchester ticket agreement. Instead of one FirstDay ticket for most of North Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Bury and Bolton, three single operator day saver tickets cover the area.

Thankfully, System One Travelcards’ multi-operator tickets can bridge the gap, though these are going up in price. Stagecoach Greater Manchester will be raising the price of their season tickets but single fares will be frozen.

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Parking the Bus: Bus Routes That Share Numbers with Football Formations: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ever wondered which Greater Manchester bus routes share or shared their number with a football formation?

For many people, New Year’s Day isn’t only about giving up smoking, going on a diet, or alcohol abstinence. January sees the start of a 31-part soap opera known as The Transfer Window. Yes, it is that time of the year which leads to Transfer Deadline Day. The climax which sees Barclays Premier League and English Football League players change hands for silly money.

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2017, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

First Greater Manchester Mercedes Citaro, W366 RJA, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
One of the biggest bus related events in Greater Manchester was the closure of First Greater Manchester’s Bury and Dukinfield depots. With Tameside’s routes served by Oldham depot, Mercedes Citaros have returned to the scene.

If 2016 was eventful, 2017 was even more eventful to the power of five. Testing our city region’s bus operators, rail franchisees, and the Metrolink was the terror attack at Manchester Arena. Greater Manchester also gained a newly elected mayor, and powers to reregulate its own buses. Also a new stretch of railway line.
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2016, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

Taking ad-Vantage of the sunshine in Leigh, Lancashire.
The biggest bus related event of 2016 was the arrival of Leigh Guided Busway, as illustrated by the V1 service seen at Leigh bus station.

If 2016’s transport scene was to be represented by two pieces of popular music, we opened with The Beatles’ Fixing A Hole and finished with Joe Jackson’s Steppin’ Out. The former, indicative of the A57(M)’s cavity; the latter, First Greater Manchester’s closure of its Bury and Dukinfield garages.
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Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester

Good clean bus fun for all the family, ages 5 and up

First Greater Manchester, Volvo B9TL, Wright Gemini Eclipse, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
From Carrbrook to Carrington, or Radcliffe to Ringway… the bus can be a great way of exploring Greater Manchester. Seen in this October 2012 shot is one of First Greater Manchester’s Volvo B9TLs on the 348 service to Carrbrook. Today, this service uses ‘A’ stand at Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station and is more likely to have Wright StreetLite single deckers on its route.

The summer holidays are in full swing. Yes, four to six weeks of “Mum, I’m bored”, or trying to find suitable childcare options. Or trying to budget for six weeks of lunches without breaking the bank. On some occasions you may wish to leave the house. A bus trip could be a good excuse for visiting Greater Manchester’s finest attractions, or somewhere further afield. Or for notching up your Pokémon Go score. Continue reading “Summer Bussing, Ever So Far: Summertime Fare Offers in Greater Manchester”

2015, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

Enviro200 MCT Travel MX62 GYC, Oldham Bus Station
2015 was a good year for third sector operators, particularly MCT Travel who picked up a number of TfGM contracts from the likes of FirstGroup and Stagecoach. Seen here is MX62 GYC, an Enviro200 seen on the 410 Oldham Circular, a tender gain from First Greater Manchester.

Only one word could sum up the state of Greater Manchester’s transport system over 2015: “holes”. For the second part of 2015, the sinkhole which has emerged on Mancunian Way, set to filled by Spring of 2016. For the first half, holes in service provision thanks to local government spending cuts. Continue reading “2015, In the Company of Buses”

The Road Least Travelled: The 535 to Winter Hill

Our look at a largely overlooked Bolton bus route

UK Coachways T806 RFG
Seen pulling in to Bolton Moor Lane Bus Station is T806 RFG, an East Lancashire bodied Dennis Trident. Photograph by Ian Roberts (Creative Commons License – Attribution Non-Commercial)

Winter Hill. It is a place that conjures up images of local radio and television. It is the de facto County Top of Granadaland where Granada’s pictures could be picked up as far as North Wales and part of Staffordshire. It is also great for exploring Rivington Pike and Lever Park. Continue reading “The Road Least Travelled: The 535 to Winter Hill”