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.

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

An Accidental Circumnavigation: South Lancashire by Bus, 03 January 2017

The World’s Our Bus Stop: 2017 Edition

Some of the best laid plans are never planned at all. Some of them are made on the hoof, or they just fall into place. Serendipity and spontaneity can make for the greatest of journeys as we lose ourselves in another town, village, open space, or on a bus you never thought of catching.

My first circumnavigation of 2017 was a classic example. I left Chez Vall thinking “my first work day of 2017”. So I caught the 220 to Stalybridge bus station for the 0746 train to Salford Central. Continue reading “An Accidental Circumnavigation: South Lancashire by Bus, 03 January 2017”

Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, April 2016

Tameside gets off lightly in City Region’s most comprehensive set of service changes to date

  • 202 service from Hyde to Glossop withdrawn;
  • 348 and 350 daytime journeys cut from every 10 to every 12 minutes;
  • Evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday 343 journeys rerouted and renumbered 340.

High Peak Buses
Making their Tameside debut on the 04 April will be High Peak, whose flagship route is the 199 Skyline service from Buxton to Manchester Airport. Wearing the livery of its predecessor, this Wright-bodied Volvo B7RLE is seen in Newtown, New Mills on the 25 March 2015. Image by grassrootsgroundswell (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).

True to form (and inferred in our previous set of changes), the Eastertide service changes are the leftover nutty chocolates in our bus based tin of Quality Street. The close of Easter will see the most comprehensive set of service changes in Greater Manchester since the split of GM Buses in December 1993.
Continue reading “Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, April 2016”

The Mossley Basic Bus Strategy: 35 Years On

A look at Greater Manchester Transport’s 1980 changes and comparison with present services

Optare Solo First Greater Manchester MA51 AEW, Denshaw
A First Greater Manchester Optare Solo seen at Denshaw, terminus of the 354 service via Greenfield and Bottom Mossley.

The 20 July 1980 was a seminal date in the history of Mossley’s bus routes. Firstly it led to the extension of the 343 route to Oldham. Secondly, it led to the rise in importance of the 350 service. Today, both the 343 and the 350 link Mossley with Oldham; the latter via Uppermill. A lot of the 1980 changes set the framework for today’s services in and around the locality from Quick Edge to Micklehurst.

Continue reading “The Mossley Basic Bus Strategy: 35 Years On”

Pies, Pints and Pictures: Ten Good Reasons to Enjoy the 343 Bus Route

Three eateries, four good pubs and three galleries – all along a single bus route

Enviro200 Stagecoach Manchester, MX11 HHF, Oldham bus station
Seen in Oldham bus station whilst operating the Saturday daytime service. Today, Stagecoach Manchester run the 343’s evening, Bank Holiday and Sunday journeys. Stott’s Tours also run the Saturday daytime service alongside its weekday journeys.

 

With Catch the Bus Week only next month and recent cuts to our services, the travails of passengers who have 51 more Catch the Bus Weeks are getting a fairly raw deal. So much so we need to publicise the joys of socially important yet sometimes overlooked services. Continue reading “Pies, Pints and Pictures: Ten Good Reasons to Enjoy the 343 Bus Route”

JPT Takeover Given Green Light

Stagecoach acquisition cleared by Competition and Markets Authority

JPT Travel Enviro300, ST59 JPT, Ashton-under-Lyne
Gone: JPT Travel, now absorbed by Stagecoach Manchester.

JPT Travel after 40 years of operation is of today, no more. The former independent operator’s takeover was confirmed yesterday by the Competition and Markets Authority. Continue reading “JPT Takeover Given Green Light”

JPT Back on Track: Business As Usual

Services set to operate as normal again

JPT Travel Enviro300, ST59 JPT, Ashton-under-Lyne
JPT Travel’s 217 service in its present form seen at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station.

The latest news in relation to JPT Travel is that it will be business as usual. The Middleton operator advised Transport for Greater Manchester that they will continue to run its tendered and commercial services, in spite of rumours of its demise.

Therefore, the latest news may come as a relief for regular passengers who use their services around North Manchester, Oldham and Tameside. We hope something positive arises in the long term.

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+++ Update, 18 April 2014 (Good Friday) +++

Here’s a small selection of pictures from today’s operations:

JPT Travel, S156 KNK, Church Street, Manchester
Volvo Olympian S156 KNK, seen on the 118 service to North Manchester General Hospital on Church Street, Manchester.

JPT Travel Optare Excel, V387 KVY, Shudehill Interchange
About to leave for Heaton Park is V387 KVY, an Optare Excel seen at Shudehill Interchange.

JPT Travel Plaxton Primo, YX60 DWZ, Shudehill Interchange
Seen laying over at Shudehill Interchange is a more modern constituent of JPT Travel’s fleet, which is YX60 DWZ, a Plaxton Primo.

S.V., 18 April 2014.

JPT RIP: Family Firm Acquired by Stagecoach Manchester

End of an era for family firm

JPT Travel Enviro300, ST59 JPT, Ashton-under-Lyne
Going: JPT Travel and the 217 service in its present form seen at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station.

Over a year since Bluebird Bus and Coach’s acquisition by Stagecoach Manchester, another Middleton company has ceased operations. JPT Travel, family run since 1974, will be taken over by Stagecoach Manchester tomorrow morning. This will be the second Middleton bus operator to have been taken over by the Perthshire transport giant. Continue reading “JPT RIP: Family Firm Acquired by Stagecoach Manchester”

Oldham and Tameside Bus Service Changes, Winter 2014: More Fine Tuning

Trams and traffic trigger changes

Fine Tuning: Minor retiming will affect some of Tameside’s bus services, possibly affected by the Metrolink.

In a earlier East of the M60 ‘…Service Changes’ post, we mentioned in great detail welcome improvements to the 180 and 184 services. In case you missed that post, the 180 service will operate every half hour on Monday to Saturday daytimes. The 184 service will be boosted by extra Sunday daytimes journeys and an improved peak hour service. In this case, vox populi was the victor thanks to consultation events in the Saddleworth area. Continue reading “Oldham and Tameside Bus Service Changes, Winter 2014: More Fine Tuning”

Bus Route Wonders of Greater Manchester #1: 343, Oldham – Mossley – Hyde

East of the M60’s Seven Bus Route Wonders of the Greater Manchester area

Little and Large: Volvo B9TL and Optare Solo, Oldham Bus Station
Regular fare on Stott’s of Oldham’s 343 route are its modern Optare Solo minibuses. Though onward views are a far cry from the double deckers which were regular fare at one time, the seats are comfortable enough for the full journey.

It is fitting that East of the M60’s Seven Bus Route Wonders of the Greater Manchester area should begin with the 343, a scenic route which singlehandedly sparked this fellow’s interest in public transport. This is the first of a set of posts written to commemorate Catch The Bus Week. Continue reading “Bus Route Wonders of Greater Manchester #1: 343, Oldham – Mossley – Hyde”