One Thousand Years On The Buses

Stagecoach Manchester staff recognised for a thousand years combined service in the bus industry

Thirty-five members of staff at Stagecoach Manchester were recognised for their dedication at the 2017 Long Service Awards. Each of them, having worked for Stagecoach and its predecessors for 20 years or more, have clocked up a total of 1,033 years of service. Back in 986, Dino would have had to pay full fare. Fred and Wilma, back in the day, were so frustrated with the LIII to Belle Vue that they bought their own set of wheels.

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What’s Eating Into Greater Manchester’s Bus Network?

Why has Greater Manchester’s bus patronage fallen by 15 million since 2014? East of the M60 wonders why we’re all missing the bus

“The Free Market Experiment” – officially known as The Transport Act 1985 – stated that competition would benefit all bus passengers. This was based on the precedent set by The Transport Act 1980. By the end of that year, the state-owned National Bus Company would see competition from private coach operators. The launch of British Coachways, a private sector consortium, would introduce more choice and competition for passengers. Within two years, National Express saw off the British Coachways consortium with its fares and integrated network.

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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, Winter 2018

Retiming and subtle tweaks party to Tameside’s service changes

First Greater Manchester Wright StreetLite, SM13 NCN, Hyde bus station
Subtle changes will be made to First Greater Manchester’s Tameside routes to improve reliability. The 389 isn’t one of the routes.

Once more, this coming Sunday’s set of service changes are prompted by our dear old friend. Yes, folks, Connie Gestion. Most of Stagecoach Manchester’s changes will see the tweaking of timetables due to congestion.
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Women Into Transport Set to Challenge Male Dominated Industry

Stagecoach Manchester leads charge to get more women into transport industry.

For well over a century, the bus industry has been a male dominated one. Men have driven buses, designed the things, and managed bus undertakings. It is worth noting that a brother, husband and sister formed one of the world’s largest transport operators. The one that accounts for a 100 million bus journeys in Greater Manchester alone.

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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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Stagecoach’s Santas’ Sleighload for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

Dashing through the snow, on a bus down Chorlton way…

From the World Freight Terminal to Piccadilly Gardens, Stagecoach Santas will be entertaining passengers on some of its services across South Manchester. In the run up to Christmas, they will be performing a selection of festive classics to raise money for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

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Transdev to Buy Rosso Bus

Privatisation of municipal operator sees £3 million investment

Rosso LK51 XGY, Rochdale Interchange
Seen at Rochdale Interchange, one of Rosso’s ALX400 double deckers is awaiting its driver and next set of passengers. Presumably on the 435 service to Buckstones.

Rosso Bus, the present day name for Rossendale Borough Transport’s bus operations, is set to be privatised by the end of this year. Subject to a vote on the 20 December, the municipal operator will be sold to Transdev. By the end of this year, most of Central and East Lancashire’s buses will be operated by Alex Hornby’s company.

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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #13: Bus Fares

The long awaited thirteenth part of our informal look at bus operations. For beginners.

Optare Solo First Greater Manchester MX54 GZF, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
A First Greater Manchester bus, loading at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station in July 2017.

In a previous Duffers’ Guide (Part Six), we looked at how concessionary fares work on bus routes. At this moment in time, fare increases have dominated the news agenda after Brexit, Trump and, in Greater Manchester at least, Andy Burnham’s death knell to bus deregulation. In his speech he has cited the cost and complexity of bus fares.

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Andy Burnham: The Free Market Has Failed Greater Manchester’s Buses

Keynote speech marks transition towards the re-regulation of Greater Manchester’s bus network

8551 Leyland Atlantean ANA 551Y, Northern Counties body, Greater Manchester Transport (1981 livery)
As demonstrated by the Northern Counties bodied Leyland Atlantean in this image, a unified identity for Greater Manchester’s bus network could return to our city region’s streets. This bus is seen in the 1981 version of Greater Manchester Transport’s livery.

There are two transport related footnotes which have had a great effect on my near forty-year existence as a child of the universe. The first one was the early years of bus deregulation, which has been well documented on this blog (as My Life in the Company of Buses). The second one, which I haven’t mentioned till now, was the split of GM Buses into GMS Buses and GM Buses North.

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