My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 30, 2015

In the eye of the storm 

Sadly, my stint in Bredbury only lasted till the 30 January. In one way, it meant being free from the worst excesses of the A560. Then I existed on bits of work to avoid the DWP’s weaponised regime on unemployed people. This meant a brief return to Oldham (for odd copywriting and coding jobs), and the possibility of S.V. going it alone as a freelancer.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 30, 2015”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 29, 2014

The storm after the lull 

By 2014, I was working elsewhere in Greater Manchester. This time in Stockport (well, Bredbury to be precise), so most of my observations of the bus scene were biased towards the 330 route. The Young Auties’ pass proved to be a godsend for peak hour journeys and the odd journey to West Yorkshire.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 29, 2014”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 28, 2013

An uneasy peace 

One of the fringe benefits of working in Oldham was getting in touch with the Rochdale and Oldham bus scene. Compared with the uneasy peace of the Dukinfield scene, 2013 was an interesting year. Professionally for me, it was a mixed year with an appalling second half.

Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 28, 2013”

My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 27, 2012

Throw those displays wide, one year like this would…

In 2011, East of the M60‘s 26 part series, My Life in the Company of Buses finished at (quelle surprise) 2011. The original series of posts were written to document the first 25 years of bus deregulation. Both on a personal level and in relation to the bus scene in Dukinfield.

With 2016 marking the 30th anniversary of bus deregulation, East of the M60 thought it was the done thing to bring the saga to 2016. A lot has happened in the five years since October 2011. Not always for the better.

A week after I completed the original saga, I was on one of these Workfare type jobbies. In 2011, getting more than two weeks free labour out of you was (and remains) unethical. Being on the same placement six months later with no job at the end, unforgivable. Had East of the M60 met its maker in 2012, this fellow may have followed suit and become a ‘success’ in the eyes of the then Home Secretary.

Instead, I am here to start the next parts of My Life in the Company of Buses. Sit back, relax, and take the next bus to 2012. Continue reading “My Life in the Company of Buses: Dukinfield and Bus Deregulation: Part 27, 2012”

JPT Travel Admits Defeat on 112 Service

Stagecoach Manchester to be sole operator of Middleton to Manchester service’s daytime journeys

Optare Excel V386 KVY
The End: JPT Travel’s involvement on the 112’s daytime journeys.

After withdrawing its journeys on the 17 service between Middleton and Manchester, JPT Travel is set to pull out of another service between the same points.

From the 15 January, it will cease to operate daytime journeys on the 112 service via Moston. This however wont affect evening journeys, most of which operated under contract to Transport for Greater Manchester. These will continue to terminate at Stevenson Square.

Plaxton Centro, Stagecoach Manchester LL07 BLU, Middleton Bus Station
Stagecoach Manchester will be the only company on daytime journeys of the 112 service which, like this bus, was inherited from Bluebird Bus and Coach.

S.V., 06 January 2014.

In Pictures Special: Middleton Bus Wars

East of the M60‘s last In Pictures Special of 2013

Over the last six months, there has been some competition between Stagecoach Manchester, JPT Travel and First Greater Manchester on services between Middleton and Manchester. Continue reading “In Pictures Special: Middleton Bus Wars”

When Routemasters Ruled the Wilmslow Road Corridor

A look back at GM Buses’ Piccadilly Line

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the Wilmslow Road and Palatine Road corridors were awash with the colours of numerous bus operators. Many of which were trying to compete with the main company which was GM Buses, later GMS Buses and now Stagecoach in Manchester. They included local coach operators like Walls and Finglands. Former National Bus Company subsidiaries like Ribble would join in. Then there was the Bee Line Buzz Company’s minibuses, and low cost independents with secondhand buses like UK North. Continue reading “When Routemasters Ruled the Wilmslow Road Corridor”

Great Olympians of our Time #9: Stott’s of Oldham R365 DJN

From West Thurrock to Oldham

Volvo Olympian R365 DJN, Stotts of Oldham, Mossley Market Place
A far cry from Wilmslow Road: laying over prior to a schools’ or works’ journey outside Mossley’s market place.

For yesterday’s entry, we told the story of P344 ROO. Today, we meet up with R365 DJN, another veteran of the Wilmslow Road Bus Wars saga.

Like her sibling, this fellow entered service for Harris Bus, West Thurrock from new in 1997. By 2000, the then Transport for London owned East Thames Buses had P365 DJN for three years, prior to moving to Manchester. After a year out of service, she moved to West Gorton in 2004, where she operated for UK North up to its closure in 2007.

After UK North went out of business, she was purchased by Stott’s of Oldham in June 2007. P365 DJN has spent more time at Lees Road than in West Thurrock and is probably happier in her new surroundings. Not least the fact she has more tender loving care than at her previous home in West Gorton.

S.V., 04 August 2012.

Great Olympians of our Time #8: UK North P344 ROO

From West Thurrock to West Gorton

201 Volvo Olympian P344 ROO, UK North, Piccadilly Gardens
Competition 2006 Style: how London buses from another decade competed along the Wilmslow Road corridor.

There has in recent weeks been news of seven Stagecoach Manchester buses moving to London for the Olympic Games. In a city where transport managers have moved to London instead of buses, Manchester (like most places outside the capital) has its fair share of ex-London vehicles in regular service. Take for example First Manchester’s Dennis Arrows in the Tameside area.

Between 1986 and 2007, many a company competed with GM Buses, GMS Buses and Stagecoach Manchester on the Wilmslow Road. From 1997, there was UK North, a then Hadfield company formed from the ashes of Mybus. By 2006 they had a great many Volvo Olympians, most of which bodied by East Lancashire as seen above.

This fellow entered service for Harris Bus, West Thurrock from new in 1997. By 2000, the then Transport for London owned East Thames Buses had P344 ROO for three years, prior to moving to Manchester. She operated for UK North up to its closure in 2007, later working for Wessex Connect and Central Connect.

S.V., 03 August 2012.

Whose Nine Is It Anyway? Bus Numbering Identity Crises

“You’re always out there running/And I see that lost look in your eyes…” – ‘Confusion’, Electric Light Orchestra (1979)

Since the dawn of bus deregulation, the duplicity of service numbers, by means of commercial and subsidised services has been far from unique. Sometimes, Company A may operate Service Number A to a different route to that of Company B’s version of Service Number A. Continue reading “Whose Nine Is It Anyway? Bus Numbering Identity Crises”