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Greater Manchester’s Most Shocking Bus Service Changes Since 1986: The Not So Perfect Ten

A look at the service changes that have shaken our city region’s bus network forever

We are now 35 years into what Andy Burnham called The Free Market Experiment.  As with any free market experiment, there is a smaller number of winners than losers.  Before the first lockdown, having a bus company and a rail franchise was a licence to print money for some operators.  

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Now You Know What We Did This Summer: Bridlington By Bus, Train and Taxi

A look at Bridlington’s public transport offer

Thanks to previous lockdowns and pandemic conditions, it has been two years since we left our last Now You Know What We Did This Summer round-up. The last entry looked at Bournemouth’s buses, which we found were dirt cheap compared with Greater Manchester’s buses.

The last time yours truly went to Bridlington was nearly 12 years ago. I had an overnight stay there and used Lord Tennyson’s favourite resort as a halfway point between Doncaster and Middlesbrough. There, I was supporting the late great Donna Williams at what became her last UK lecture tour. After seeing her Doncaster lecture, I got Northern’s service to Bridlington (via Goole and Hull), then continued to Middlesbrough by bus via Scarborough.

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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, 05 September 2021

All the latest back to school bus times and the usual changes

  • Stagecoach Manchester routes revert to winter timetable;
  • New Sheffield connection for Hyde passengers;
  • Late night 409 journeys to Ashton restored.

For the first time in a while, Tameside’s latest service changes make for more positive reading. Evening journeys will be boosted on one of our trunk routes and Hyde is going to get direct bus links to Manchester Airport, Sheffield and Macclesfield.

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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, 25 July 2021

Summer times, and the changes are minimal (and somewhat predictable)

  • Summer times on Stagecoach Manchester;
  • Diggle link ditched from 356 route;
  • Peak hour duplicates nixed after scrapping of social distancing requirement on buses.

Within a week of HM Government’s Freedom Day®, some degree of normality is restored on our bus routes. Firstly, with it being summertime (and the schools breaking up for the five-week or six-week holidays), we shall be seeing the faster summer times on many of Stagecoach’s routes. Secondly, with the requirements for social distancing scrapped, our peak hour duplicates on trunk routes have gone the same way.

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Stagecoach Manchester Celebrates Silver Jubilee With Special Livery

Special livery features long serving staff

Stagecoach Manchester is celebrating 25 years of serving communities and connecting people across Greater Manchester, with a special livery bus featuring 30 of its longest serving members of staff. The recently launched bus will be seen on routes mainly in the South Manchester area throughout 2021.

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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, 11 April 2021

As one hospital link closes, another one opens

  • Renumbered 397 extended to North Manchester General Hospital;
  • Little Gem (Mark II) increases Tameside presence on TfGM tendered routes;
  • 217 reverts to being Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester route;
  • Timetable changes for Stagecoach routes with cuts to 336, 337 and 389 services.

The Spring 2021 changes are a bit of a mixed bag for Tameside’s bus passengers. A day before non-essential retail reopens, there has been some tinkering around the edges of Stagecoach’s routes, particularly with subtle changes to trunk routes. For some not-so-trunk routes, some not-so-subtle changes, like operator revisions and service cuts.

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Double decker bus in new Stagecoach livery, Trafford Centre

AI’s ‘Aye’ For The 111: Introducing Optibus

Stagecoach Group invests in AI based bus route planning tool

  • Investment will help plan the changes in travel coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • New AI platform Optibus will help improve service delivery and provide more efficient timetables;
  • State-of-the-art artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and cloud computing used to make timetables smarter;
  • Major technological transformation will enable quicker roll-out of electric buses.
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Bristol K5G, North Western Road Car Company

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #14: Lowbridge Buses

The even longer awaited fourteenth part of our informal look at bus operations For beginners.

Once upon a time, quite some time ago, a certain Robert Stephenson created the world’s first true inter-city railway line. By September 1830, it carried its first passengers and goods between Liverpool and Manchester city centres. Today, Liverpool Lime Street is the world’s oldest railway terminus in continuous use. Liverpool Road station, in Manchester, is part of the Science Museum Group as Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum.

On reading the previous paragraph, you may be asking yourself, “What has this got to be do with buses?” Quite a bit, because not all railway bridges are sixteen feet or higher above our roads, bridleways, canals, footpaths and rivers. Our earlier road bridges were designed for horses and carts, never mind state-of-the-art electric cars. Or double decker buses.

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A Child’s Guide to Iconic Buses: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten iconic buses for beginners – or anybody old enough to pay child fare without an iGo card

For many people, a bus is just a bus. A box on six wheels for 16 or 90 people. A way of getting home from school, or from home to the shops.

These boxes with windows and (in most cases) a front entrance come in different colours. Since the 1960s they have also been mobile adverts. Some of today’s buses look less like boxes and are rounded.

You might think that many buses look the same, no matter what colours they wear. If you look at one bus (an Enviro200) and another one (a Dennis Dart SLF) the differences are striking. Many Enviro200 buses look more rounded than a Dennis Dart SLF bus.

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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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