First Greater Manchester Set to Close Rusholme Depot

Cost-cutting measures will see South Manchester operations moved to Queens Road depot

Cross Connect: one of First Greater Manchester’s early attempts at trying to break into the lucrative South Manchester corridor.

Five years after purchasing the bus operations of Finglands Coachways, First Greater Manchester is set to rationalise its operations in South Manchester. As well as pulling out of the 42 route to East Didsbury, their Rusholme depot will be closed.

Continue reading “First Greater Manchester Set to Close Rusholme Depot”

From Orange to Olympia: First Greater Manchester’s Takeover of Finglands’ Bus Operations

Timetable set in motion for transition from Finglands to FirstGroup

First Greater Manchester's Rusholme depot sign.
The signs they are a changing: First Greater Manchester stamps its authority on the Finglands depot site. (Photograph © 2014 Tanvir Hamid)

From Sunday, First Greater Manchester will be the proud operator of two 41 services. Two entirely different 41 services with varying levels of traffic and clientele. Both of which daily, one of them operated with eco-friendly electric hybrid Solos.
Continue reading “From Orange to Olympia: First Greater Manchester’s Takeover of Finglands’ Bus Operations”

First Greater Manchester’s Southern Swoop Sealed

OFT clearance for acquisition of Finglands Coachways confirmed

Volvo B9TL, Finglands YX08 FWF, Stockport bus station
In about three weeks time, the Volvo B9TLs you are likely to see on Finglands’ routes will be seen in FirstGroup’s Olympia livery.

How long did it take for the Office of Fair Trading to sort this out? A fair number of South Manchester’s bus users and many a bus enthusiast had a sneaky feeling that FirstGroup’s approach for Finglands would be successful. Today, this was confirmed by the OFT.
Continue reading “First Greater Manchester’s Southern Swoop Sealed”

First Greater Manchester Flies South for the Winter

Finglands agree to sell bus operations to FirstGroup for a bargain price, subject to OFT clearance

Volvo B9TL, Finglands YX08 FWF, Stockport bus station
Another Volvo B9TLs: one of Finglands’ seen on the Sunday 197 route to Manchester via Heaton Moor and Burnage in February 2013. Since April, Sunday and Bank Holiday 197s have been taken over by Manchester Community Transport.

Who’d have thought it? Within two years of expanding its 18 service from Shudehill Interchange to Rusholme, First Greater Manchester aims to improve its market share in South Manchester. This time, it has set its sights on the bus operations of Finglands and agreed to purchase them for £50,000. Continue reading “First Greater Manchester Flies South for the Winter”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 16 December 2011

16. An Arriva North West Alexander bodied DAF DB250LF

DAF DB250LF/Alexander ALX400, T296 FGN, Arriva North West, Piccadilly Gardens

Arriva North West’s DAF DB250LF joined Wythenshawe depot via London (hence the staircase position). On first glance, it could be mistaken for a Dennis Trident – given the similarity of the Alexander bodywork seen on Stagecoach Manchester’s Tridents. This example is loading at Piccadilly Gardens. On leaving the city centre, it will take a circuitous route into Altrincham via Whalley Range, Ashton-on-Mersey and Brooklands.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Oldham – Mossley (Brookbottom). Oldham Corporation’s 16 route entered Top Mossley via Lees Road and Grotton, starting from the Town Hall bus stop. In 1973 – 74, it was renumbered 416. On the 20 July 1980, it was absorbed by an expanded 343 service, offering Grottonians a direct route with Bottom Mossley, Stalybridge and Hyde.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Arriva North West’s 16 route is a Goliath among Altrincham to Manchester routes (65 minutes compared with 50 on the 263 and 25 on the tram). On Monday to Friday, the service is operated every half hour along its full length, with two evening journeys from Altrincham operated by Finglands (three from Manchester). These are operated daily. By contrast, Arriva’s Saturday service only operates up to Sale! The Sunday service covers the full route, albeit every two hours with Finglands the sole operator.

S.V., 16 December 2011