The Golden Oldie Bus Picture Show ’14: Autumnal Gold

This autumn’s collection of elderly buses in the Rochdale, Oldham and Tameside areas.

In the last quarter, the step entrance double decker seems to be dwindling in numbers. Older low floor equivalents seem to have been cascaded. Most notably in Bury and Rochdale where Mercedes Citaros ply their trade. This summer saw the departure of Greater Manchester’s only Dennis Arrow with 34088, a First Greater Manchester Volvo Olympian set to follow her. Continue reading “The Golden Oldie Bus Picture Show ’14: Autumnal Gold”

A Midsummer Night’s Bus Theme

A spring and summer collection of older buses in Greater Manchester.

In the last quarter, we have seen the continuance of JPT’s operations by Stagecoach Manchester. Of late, some buses inherited from the JPT fleet, and a few former Bluebird Bus and Coach vehicles have been see on its commercial and subsidised services.

Continue reading “A Midsummer Night’s Bus Theme”

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”

2013, In the Company of Buses

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

East of the M60's Icon of 2013: Flexity Swift M5000 tram 3060 loading at Ashton-under-Lyne on the first day of Metrolink operations.
East of the M60’s Icon of 2013: Flexity Swift M5000 tram 3060 loading at Ashton-under-Lyne on the first day of Metrolink operations.

Missed opportunities, U-Turns, WiFi and trams dominated most of 2013. Last year we thought Preston’s iconic bus station would face demolition. Instead it is Rochdale’s 1978 bus station which will face the wrecking ball thanks to a spiffy one across the road. We saw continued consolidation of big bus owning groups and cutbacks, though these were made to fares instead of services. Continue reading “2013, In the Company of Buses”

The Golden Oldie Bus Picture Show: More Older Buses in Tameside and Oldham

Even more superannuated step entrance and low floor vehicles.

When I get older, losing my flair
Fifteen years from now
Will you still be showing me the Claret Line
Schoolday runnings, seldom on time

If I’d been out on the 83
Will you drive so sure?
Will you still need me, though I’m not spritely,
On the 64?

Adapted from ‘When I’m Sixty-Four’ (with apologies to Lennon and McCartney).

It has been over a year since the new FirstGroup livery was introduced to its modern vehicles. In that time, we have also seen a sizeable chunk of First Greater Manchester’s Wigan operation and Bluebird Bus and Coach transfer to Stagecoach Manchester. Furthermore, albeit in the short term, we have seen First Greater Manchester regain lost ground after the transfer of some of Maytree Travel’s routes. It has also meant the hasty return to service of some of its older vehicles. Continue reading “The Golden Oldie Bus Picture Show: More Older Buses in Tameside and Oldham”

Tameside Bus Changes, April 2013: One Flew Over the Bluebird’s Nest

Operation revisions order of the day and a boost for the New Mills Town Service

Dennis Dart SLF, Stagecoach Manchester X744 JCS, Oldham bus station
A sizeable number of former Bluebird Bus and Coach routes acquired by Stagecoach Manchester will be changing hands after the 07 April. This service will be operated in its entirety by Manchester Community Transport, who have made significant gains in the Oldham and Tameside areas.

As expected, a great many of the changes entail Stagecoach Manchester’s former Bluebird Bus and Coach routes. The bulk of which will be its subsidised routes, some of which on about to acquire their fourth operator in the space of 15 months. Continue reading “Tameside Bus Changes, April 2013: One Flew Over the Bluebird’s Nest”

In Pictures: Bluebird Bus and Coach

A fond farewell to the former independent company

Yesterday saw the two tone blue of Bluebird Bus and Coach mercilessly replaced by the swirls of Stagecoach’s livery. Bluebird Bus and Coach was formed by the late Tom Dunstan in 1988, who held previous positions with the North Western Road Car Company, SELNEC and Greater Manchester Transport. Following his death in 2004, his son Michael took over the business. Continue reading “In Pictures: Bluebird Bus and Coach”

Bluebird’s Wings Clipped By Stagecoach Manchester

Middleton independent devoured by Perthshire giant

Bluebird Bus and Coach, Enviro 200 DD56 BLU, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
Shortly after the demise of SpeedwellBus, Bluebird Bus and Coach gained the 395 and 396 routes. By Summer 2013, Stagecoach Manchester’s swirls may adorn Bluebird’s young fleet of low floor Dennis Dart SLFs, Enviro200s and Optare Solo SRs, seen in Limehurst and Fitton Hill on the 395 and 396 routes.

Only last week, East of the M60 reported on Stagecoach Manchester’s acquisition of First Greater Manchester’s Wigan operations. Subject to Office of Fair Trading approval, Greater Manchester Buses South Ltd (an indirect operating subsidiary of Stagecoach Manchester), has agreed to acquired Bluebird Bus and Coach for £2 million. The purchase includes its depot on Greengate, Middleton and their 40 buses. Its staff will become Stagecoach employees under TUPE arrangements. Continue reading “Bluebird’s Wings Clipped By Stagecoach Manchester”

In Pictures Special: Where Citaros Dare: Older Buses in Tameside and Oldham

Warning: This Article Includes Coffin Dodging Step Entrance and Low Floor Vehicles.

The school holidays sometimes throws up some oddities on normal routes. Instead of the usual Enviro400 or Volvo B9TL, an older vehicle might make a cameo appearance. Sometimes the older vehicle, in spite of its short comings (i.e. step entrance access and lack of buggy space), may be more fuel efficient than their young whippersnappers. Continue reading “In Pictures Special: Where Citaros Dare: Older Buses in Tameside and Oldham”