Bus Regulation The Musical graphic

Bus Regulation The Musical: The Review

How Ellie Harrison’s show brought us fifty years of Greater Manchester transport history on wheels

Baroness Castle of Blackburn (played by Summer Dean, left of centre) with the eight skaters.
  • Bus Regulation The Musical.
  • Manchester Art Gallery, 28 September 2019 (2pm and 3pm).
  • Produced by Ellie Harrison.

I could think of several ways of spending half an hour of my leisure time. One is listening to the entire ‘B’ side of Foxtrot, Genesis’ 1972 LP which includes the magnificent Supper’s Ready. Another is sitting on a 216 bus or tram bound for Manchester city centre. By opting for the latter, I unearthed a little gem in Ellie Harrison’s production, Bus Regulation The Musical.

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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.

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Transdev to Buy Rosso Bus

Privatisation of municipal operator sees £3 million investment

Rosso LK51 XGY, Rochdale Interchange
Seen at Rochdale Interchange, one of Rosso’s ALX400 double deckers is awaiting its driver and next set of passengers. Presumably on the 435 service to Buckstones.

Rosso Bus, the present day name for Rossendale Borough Transport’s bus operations, is set to be privatised by the end of this year. Subject to a vote on the 20 December, the municipal operator will be sold to Transdev. By the end of this year, most of Central and East Lancashire’s buses will be operated by Alex Hornby’s company.

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If I Never Catch Another Bus: Blackpool By Bus and Tram

A Now You Know What I Did This Summer Special Edition

Modern Blackpool Tram (South Shore)
The Modern Face of Blackpool’s tramways: the Bombardier trams which see regular service from Starr Gate to Fleetwood Ferry.

If you enjoyed this year’s Now You Know What I Did This Summer which focused on the buses, trains, and ferries in Falmouth, we have a special treat for you. Yours truly, along with his old man (thanks to my old woman failing a fitness test), spent a longish weekend in Britain’s fun capital. Needless to say, the sighting of a Mr. Longthorne inspired the title of our special. Continue reading “If I Never Catch Another Bus: Blackpool By Bus and Tram”

Go Cheapway to… The Greater Manchester Museum of Transport

Exploring Greater Manchester’s transport history on a budget

Leyland Olympian NJA 568W, Greater Manchester Transport, Museum of Transport, Cheetham
Not to be missed: The Greater Manchester Museum of Transport is worth visiting from time to time, not only for new additions to its collection. On special event days, local preservation groups such as the SELNEC Preservation Society and private owners display their vehicles.

My first visit to this museum was on the Palm Sunday of 1986 with my father. We decided – rather wrong-headedly – to walk to and from the museum. On alighting our 220 bus at Victoria Station, we made the mistake of walking up Rochdale Road. In spite of the longer route which entailed turning left onto Queens Road, I still managed to catch a glimpse of the Red Bank carriage sidings. Continue reading “Go Cheapway to… The Greater Manchester Museum of Transport”

The Road Least Travelled: Ashton’s Lesser Spotted Circular

Our third lesser known bus route within Greater Manchester

If you’re au fait with Tameside’s bus scene, you may be familiar with the 331 and 333 circular routes from Ashton-under-Lyne. They were originally Ashton Corporation’s 1 and 3 services with the former reaching Hurst in a clockwise direction via Broadoak Road. Continue reading “The Road Least Travelled: Ashton’s Lesser Spotted Circular”

The Road Least Travelled: Hyde’s Other 344 Route

Another obscure bus journey throughout Greater Manchester

Optare Solo MX08 MYJ, Stotts of Oldham, Oldham Bus Station
Our second 344’s more illustrious sister, loading at Oldham Central Bus Station.

At Hyde bus station, there are two 344 routes. One is the Backbower Circular, which co-works with the 342. There is also a lesser known 344, one which comprises of a single journey.

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The Road Least Travelled: Tameside Hospital to Piccadilly Gardens

Obscure bus journeys throughout Greater Manchester

Optare Solo, Checkmate Coaches, interior shot
An interior view of one of Checkmate Coaches’ Optare Solo buses, on the 220 to Piccadilly Gardens.

Outside the bright lights of the Wilmslow Road corridor, the A6 into Stockport and Ashton Old Road are a variety of often overlooked bus routes throughout Greater Manchester. Some of which are socially necessary, for schoolchildren, hospital appointments and workers. Some of these are the White Dwarfs or Neutron Stars of the bus world, having previously been frequent routes.

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Enviro400 and Optare Solo, Ashton bus station

Oh No, More Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect Ten

Another ten lost bus routes of Greater Manchester

Mercedes-Benz Vario, R269 XDA, Alexander ALX 100 body, SpeedwellBus, Ashton-under-Lyne
Another Lost Bus Route and a lost operator: the 239 when operated by SpeedwellBus. (Slated for a future episode of Lost Bus Routes on this blog).

It has been a while since East of the M60 had a Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester round up. Without further ado we brandish our SaverSeven and board any of the following routes:

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East of the M60 Advent Calendar: 12 December 2011

12. A Go-Ahead Group Brighton and Hove Scania N94UD OmniDekka

Scania N94UD OmniDekka, YN56 FFO Dame Anita Roddick

Brighton and Hove’s Scania OmniDekkas are a rare beast. This may look like a common and garden contemporary double decker as the devil in the detail is off camera. Most bus rear indicators only show the route number. Brighton and Hove’s vehicles have the full front indicator on the rear of the bus. This example is photographed outside the entrance of Eastbourne Pier.

Bus Route of Christmas Past: Flixton – Piccadilly. One of two 12s in central Manchester and Salford. Operated by Manchester Corporation, this service had a basic hourly frequency with extra peak hour journeys, though no Sunday morning journeys. Most of the 12 service is covered by today’s 256 route to Flixton operated by Stagecoach Manchester.

Bus Route of Christmas Present: Continuing with Stagecoach – and the seaside theme of the picture, our 12 is Stagecoach in Devon’s Newton Abbot – Torquay – Paignton – Brixham service. Popular all year round, the service boasts a 10 minute daytime frequency with an evening, Sunday and Bank Holiday service every 20 minutes. It is also the easiest way for approaching Torquay and Brixham town centres. The standard 12 route is also augmented by 12A and 12C services to Brixham and Torquay.

S.V., 12 December 2011