Up Town and Beyond Since 1913, Oldham By Bus and Tram: A Not So Perfect Ten Special

Ten icons of Oldham bus and tram operation over the last century

Oldham Corporation Leyland Atlantean, OBU 163F
Proper Bus! Need I say more…

Who’d have thought it would have been a hundred years since the first buses and trams operated from Oldham town centre? We seem to have come a long way from the days when buses or trams used to stop outside The Star Inn. Buses were more widely adopted after the late 1920s when cross-city express routes complemented the town’s trams. Today’s new fangled trams traverse the Rochdale-Oldham Loop Line, and – by next year – will be stopping near The Star Inn. Plus ça change, except for the depubification of The Star Inn. Continue reading “Up Town and Beyond Since 1913, Oldham By Bus and Tram: A Not So Perfect Ten 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: 21 December 2011

21. An Oldham Corporation Roe bodied Leyland Titan PD2/20

Oldham Corporation Leyland Titan PD2/20, NBU 494, Museum of Transport, CheethamThe Leyland Titan PD2/20 was pretty much a part of late 1950s and early 1960s Oldham Corporation operations. Some survived well in to the SELNEC era.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Chadderton – Oldham – Fitton Hill. By the late 1950s, the 21 took in the then new Fitton Hill estate. In 1973, it was renumbered 421; in 1986, whilst in that guise, the Chadderton (Whitegate Lane) terminus was changed, extended to Moston (Gardeners Arms). Today, the Moston – Oldham section of the 421 is now served by the 81 service from Manchester – Derker with Oldham – Fitton Hill served by an upgraded 425 service. To accommodate this, the 421 and its sister route, the 423, were withdrawn with the current replacement operating from Fitton Hill to Oldham and Holts Estate.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: appropriately for the shortest day of the year, I have chosen one of the shortest bus routes in Greater Manchester. Operated by Manchester Community Transport on Monday – Saturdays, and Go-Goodwins on Sundays, the 21 from Altrincham to Warburton Green takes 12 minutes to reach the two points. The Monday – Saturday route in full continues beyond Warburton Green to Timperley, taking 28 minutes. It also has one of the oddest service frequencies in Greater Manchester – every 68 minutes (the shorter Sunday service is every hour)!!!

S.V., 21 December 2011

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 17 December 2011

17. A future girl, she wants a future boy (who knows the Greater Manchester Transport bus network like the back of his hand).

Teen Travel Club leaflet cover (1984)

Greater Manchester Transport’s leaflets were real gems as far as graphic design is concerned. Though the hairstyles have changed course in the last 30 years, this leaflet still stands up well against contemporary works. Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 17 December 2011”

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

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: 08 December 2011

8. One and two halves to the Octagon, please…

Bolton Transport 232

Displaying Bolton’s flagship bus route is Leyland Atlantean 232. This example is among the fruits of Ralph Bennett’s labours in overhauling the image of Bolton Corporation. It is hard to imagine the fact this bus was built in 1965, when thousands of Leyland Atlanteans for other operators entered service with the peaks and domes which Ralph Bennett despised. She still looks well today. Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 08 December 2011”

East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 07 December 2011

7. Seven Bee Lines Buzzing

Freight Rover Sherpa, D63 NOF, Bee Line Buzz Company, Greater Manchester Museum of Transport

Under the metaphorical Christmas tree, these beauties were weeks away from entering service in the December of 1986. This recently restored minibus in Manchester Minibuses’ Bee Line Buzz Company livery was probably akin to being stung by wasps among GM Buses staff. (Till they fought back with MCW Metroriders, Dodges and Ivecos in March 1987 with the Little Gem branding) Continue reading “East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 07 December 2011”