Lego GMT Standard double decker

Stalybridge Bus Station for Beginners

Almost Everything you need to know about Stalybridge bus station

Stalybridge bus station is a modest, unstaffed bus station with a single island platform. It has four stands and lacks layover facilities. You may argue that the town has two bus stations because of its four stops on Armentieres Square. In recent times, the stops on Armentieres Square have increased in their importance.

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Preston Bus Station, 2011

Seven Bus Station Wonders of the United Kingdom

Britain’s most iconic bus stations – past and present

In the great scheme of things, architectural critics look at structures like Egypt’s Great Pyramids, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the vertical skyline of New York City. Sports venues around the world are revered for their iconic status due to famous victories or unique atmosphere. To get to any of these places may require a bus or two. (Well, other private or public modes of transport are available).

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Bus Stations from Hell: The Return

East of the M60’s reassessment of the Bus Stations from Hell of 2006

The Old Bus Station, Police Station and Multi Storey Car Park, Nelson
2006’s Bus Station From Hell: the former Nelson bus station, photographed by Robert Wade in 2010. (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved-Non Commercial).

Apart from the obligatory “Hello, Good Evening, and Welcome to our New Blog” type of post, Bus Stations from Hell was the first proper post on East of the M60. Just to recap, here’s the Not So Magnificent Seven from the 16 August 2006. Continue reading “Bus Stations from Hell: The Return”

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #12: Eating on the Bus

The pitfalls of dining Al Volvo, plus ten useful tips

Greggs, Murray Place, Stirling
The Bete Noire and Godsend of all bus drivers and passengers: You cannot fault the odd Greggs Steak Bake now and then, but you wouldn’t like to share a bus with a leftover sausage roll. This is their Stirling branch, photographed by Paul Robertson in 2008. The bus in the reflection is a Northern Counties Palatine II bodied Volvo Olympian. (Creative Commons License: Attribution Some Rights Reserved-No Derivatives).

Eating and drinking on the bus is a thing that many of us do out of necessity. This is usually due to time constraints (being unable to stop off at a pub or café en route) or financial reasons (being unable to afford a pub or café) as well as hunger. Most of the time, eating on the bus might entail anything from the odd chocolate bar to a packed lunch.
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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #11: Queueing for Buses

Much to do with the way we queue for the 192 (well, other buses are also available).

London General TEN5 on Route 192, Tottenham Hale Bus Station
A queue for the 192, though not the one we are more familiar with in Greater Manchester. Here’s Transport for London’s version of the 192 service, seen loading at Tottenham Hale bus station bound for Enfield. Image by Aubrey Morandarte, 2014 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved)

Queueing, it’s a very British phenomenon. It is something which, supposedly, sets Britons apart from their overseas peers. It is something certain generations did a lot of in the Second World War for buses, rations and trips to the local cinema.
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Two Pints of Jaipur and a 346, Please…: The Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten

Ten pubs near to bus stations and bus stops

A pint before the last bus: what is there not to like? All the better if our desired public house is a short stagger from our bus stop or favoured bus stand.

The history of public houses dovetails with the development of modern day bus operations. Stagecoaches used to call at coaching inns and roadside pubs. On a long journey, for example Manchester to London each coaching inn would constitute a stage where passengers stayed overnight prior to embarking on their next leg. In later years, some of the coaching inns would remain stops on modern-day bus routes. For example, the Old General on the corner of Crescent Road and Astley Street with the 346. Continue reading “Two Pints of Jaipur and a 346, Please…: The Top Beer Not So Perfect Ten”

Ashtonian Sunday Stand Shuffle Scrapped

Changes to Sunday and Evening stands at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station

A Volvo B9TL about to load on a part working of the 350's Sunday service.
Some services are set to change stands on the 26 January 2014, though this service seen above wont be affected.

In the last 15 months, Ashton-under-Lyne’s Sunday and evening bus services have used different stands to their weekday equivalents. This practice, first enacted in the late 1990s to improve personal security was scrapped in October 2012, only to return on the 11 November 2012.

From the 26 January 2014, all Sunday and evening journeys will operate from the same stands as their weekday and Saturday equivalents. For example, the 216 which uses G Stand on Sundays and evenings, will use L Stand. This change doesn’t apply to most services using A to G stands seven days a week, such as the Ashton Circulars [331 – 333], 346 and 350 services. For obvious reasons, this doesn’t affect services without Sunday, evening and Bank Holiday journeys.

Chances are the change of stands on Sundays and evening journeys may have confused passengers who travel by bus less frequently, hence the reversion.

S.V., 07 January 2014.

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #4: An A to Z of Bus Based Terms

The fourth part of a concise guide to bus operations from a passenger point of view, aimed at bus noobs more than anything

C920 FMP, Leyland Lynx 252 (interior).
The stylish interior of C920 FMP, a recently restored Leyland Lynx.

Cheap, cheerful, and just the thing for reading on a 192 with the free WiFi, is our fourth Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations

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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #3: Bus Stations

The third part of a concise guide to bus operations from a passenger point of view, aimed at bus noobs more than anything

First Greater Manchester, Enviro400, Holga style
Oldham Bus Station, an example of a multi-platform bus station.

For our third part, it makes sense to progress from bus stops to bus stations. Without at least one, or even two of them in our major town centres, our streets would be more chaotic.
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Praise For Bus Routes By Greater Manchester Bus Users

Survey sees 84% satisfaction, though room for improvement is required

Solo SR hybrid interior view
The last year has seen some improvement in the quality of rolling stock on Greater Manchester’s buses, some of which reflected in the latest Passenger Focus survey. Seen here is the interior of an electric hybrid Solo SR, owned by Transport for Greater Manchester and operated by First Pioneer on the 41 route from Dukinfield [Tennyson Avenue] to Ashton-under-Lyne and Crowhill estate.
Out of a survey conducted by Passenger Focus involving 664 bus users in the Transport for Greater Manchester area, 84% of them were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with their journeys. Though the figures may be encouraging for TfGM and Greater Manchester’s bus operators, there is still room for improvement, particularly in customer service and value for money. The average satisfaction rate among PTE areas is 85%, with TfGM boundary bus users amassing a slightly lower than average score. Continue reading “Praise For Bus Routes By Greater Manchester Bus Users”