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.

Continue reading “Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #14: Lowbridge Buses”
A Sheffield Transport bus in restored condition.

Crossing the South Pennines By Bus: A Lost Bus Routes Special

The threads left behind by Manchester’s lost bus links with Barnsley and Sheffield

The 04 January 2020 will soon be a significant anniversary date in trans-Pennine transport history. That date will be the 50th anniversary of the cessation of passenger services along the Woodhead line. Had the Woodhead line stayed open today, the all-electric route between Hadfield and Sheffield could have been useful to First Transpennine Express and East Midlands Trains. Not only as a diversionary route but also a viable alternative to the Hope Valley line.

Continue reading “Crossing the South Pennines By Bus: A Lost Bus Routes Special”

The X67: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

Remembering Manchester’s express route to Chesterfield which, at one time, continued to Lincoln

Chesterfield ... where to catch a bus.
The East Midland Bus Station has changed dramatically since North Western Road Car Company was one of the X67’s joint operators. Image by Barry W*******, 2011. (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Once upon a time, almost fifty years ago, it was possible to cross the Pennines by bus from Manchester, via a number of different routes. Without a change of bus en route. Today, there are only three routes where you can do just that. Two of which are National Express coach services: the 351 to Sheffield, and the 060 to Leeds via the M62. The only proper service bus to do that is First Greater Manchester’s 184 service to Huddersfield. Continue reading “The X67: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special”

Oldham’s Bus Termini, Past and Present

A look at Oldham’s bus stations and stops past and present

Oldham Termini Map
Oldham’s bus stations and stops past and present.

In the last century, Oldham has had a number of termini and through stops, some of which discontinued by means of town centre redevelopment. Most recently, this has meant the Metrolink works. During the last forty years, the town’s main bus station has shifted westwards from Mumps Bridge to Cheapside. Continue reading “Oldham’s Bus Termini, Past and Present”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 24 December 2011

24. Taking the Long Way Home for Christmas

Step Entrance Survivors: First Manchester's Mercedes-Benz 0.405s. Image by Ingy the Wingy (Creative Commons Attribution License)

For our final window, we have a bus that has travelled quite a distance before getting to Greater Manchester at the start of the 21st century.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our last Advent Bus Associated Picture is P548 BSS, a Mercedes-Benz O.405 with the Optare Prisma style of bodywork. Built in 1997, these were among First Aberdeen’s standard vehicles, and quite beefy specimens they are too! Their high powered engines saw regular service on the Uppermill routes, some peak hour 343 journeys and the 562 from Oldham to Halifax. In recent times, they’ve been seen on the 24 route, a limited-stop service from Manchester to Rochdale.

Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 24 December 2011”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 14 December 2011

14. Just the thing for your Turkey and Tinsel break

Charterplan bag

Besides Greater Manchester Transport’s more workaday role (of safely carrying passengers from A to B over a given route), there was other concerns like the SELNEC Express Parcels concern in Parrs Wood, Dial-a-Ride and Charterplan. Originally known as SELNEC Travel, it adopted that name in 1975, offering private coach hire services and excursions. It also offered a direct coach service from Manchester to Paris and a selection of holidays in the UK and on the continent. Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 14 December 2011”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 13 December 2011

13. A Salford City Transport Metro-Cammell bodied Leyland Titan PD2/40

The 13 to Agecroft

By 1966, Salford City Transport reaped the benefits of Charles Baroth’s earlier reign at Frederick Road by having smartly turned out green and cream buses with a reputation for excellent reliability. Their 1966 Leyland Titan PD2/40 marked an end of an era as subsequent orders were one-man-operated vehicles. Among those to follow were Mancunian style Leyland Atlanteans, bodied by Metro-Cammell and Park Royal, featuring Salford’s two piece indicator layout.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Manchester (Stevenson Square) – Delph – Uppermill. North Western Road Car Company’s 13 service was one of three limited stop services from Manchester to Saddleworth (the other two were the 10 and 14). Following SELNEC’s absorption of NWRCC routes within its confines, the 13 was renumbered 183 with its sister routes allocated 180 and 184. In 1997, limited stop status was discontinued with the service in that form withdrawn in 2004. By then, an expanded 350 covered the 183 route, which also replaced the 352 and 355 routes in Mossley and Greenfield.

Today’s 183 was reallocated to a short route from Grotton to Hollinwood (replacing the 427). That too has been curtailed to operate between Oldham and Limeside, co-working with the 350.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Stagecoach has an impressive network of medium to long distance services from Eastbourne to Margate courtesy of its Hastings and East Kent subsidiaries. The 13 from Canterbury to Walmer (Telegraph Road) is no exception. Operating every hour it also takes in Deal and Sandwich. Sister route 13A supplies the Sunday and Bank Holiday service.

Photograph courtesy of Gene Hunt, 30 June 2007 (Creative Commons Attribution License)

S.V., 13 December 2011

The History of Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station

The Life, The Universe, Katherine Street, The Beau Geste and Everything

Yelloway coach, Van Hool, Ashton-under-Lyne

Prior to 1963, Ashton-under-Lyne’s buses and trolleybuses stopped at a variety of termini throughout the town centre. Manchester Corporation services called at Bow Street and Old Square (by Yates’ Wine Lodge); Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation’s buses opted for Market Street and Wellington Road by the town hall. SHMD’s stopped at St. Michael’s Square. Continue reading “The History of Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station”