Blackpool Postcard

The Wonder of Wakes Weeks

Ever wondered about the Wakes Weeks and when they are?

Many moons ago, before East of the M60 was as well-known as it is nowadays, we posted a review of Channel Five’s documentary on the Oldham Wakes. It was part of a series called Disappearing Britain, the Oldham Wakes episode was hosted by Sarah Lancashire (or Raquel off Corrie if you watched the soap in the 1990s). The programme had vox-pop interviews with Ms. Lancashire decrying the state of Blackpool.

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Ashton-under-Lyne Interchange, August 2019

Have Your Say on Bus Franchising in Greater Manchester

Bus franchising consultation to begin in October

Next month, the people of Greater Manchester will be involved in a far-reaching consultation to transform the city region’s bus routes.

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Last Tiger in Paris: Greater Manchester’s Cross-Channel Links

Who remembers getting a coach from Manchester to Paris?

Cast your mind back to 1976. Many people associate the year with its long hot summer, hose pipe bans, and queueing outside stand pipes. For many readers of this blog, 2018 could have similar parallels to that year (weather and hose pipe bans alone). With the school holidays kicking in, why would you want to (or have wanted to in 1976) find the sun abroad?

42 years on, we think nothing of travelling abroad. Our soon-to-expire EU Membership has enabled us to travel to EU Member States at affordable prices. South of London St. Pancras station, getting a train to Paris is easier than catching a bus from Stalybridge to Marple (in 1976, no need to change buses thanks to the 389 route).

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Cityzap comparison map

Cityzap, TPE or National Express: Which Way from Manchester to Leeds?

How does Transdev’s brand new bus service measure up against the competition? East of the M60 takes a look.

From the 04 November, Transdev will offer another way of travelling from Manchester to Leeds. Known as Cityzap, it aims to offer a more affordable way between the two cities. At Manchester city centre, its terminus will be Chorlton Street, outside the coach station. There will be an additional stop on Piccadilly Gardens. Continue reading “Cityzap, TPE or National Express: Which Way from Manchester to Leeds?”

Ducie Street: Manchester’s Forgotten Coach Station

East of the M60 looks at the former base of North Manchester Travel

The 1980s was an amazing era for long distance coach travel. With a more extensive motorway network, the seemingly moribund industry was on the up. In the nationalised and privately-owned sectors of the bus and coach industry, the standards of comfort on long distance routes began to improve. Continue reading “Ducie Street: Manchester’s Forgotten Coach Station”

Moovit Uber Allies: Private Hire Service Integrated Into App

Moovit users in 22 countries and 131 cities set to benefit from new addition to app

In the last year, one private hire company more than anything has never been out of the press. Whether for good or bad reasons, Uber has been uttered on many a taxi or minicab themed discussion. In the last six months, Greater Manchester has seen its Uber footprint extend eastwards, towards most of the Tameside area. For many, it is a cheaper alternative to established minicab and Hackney Carriage operators. Continue reading “Moovit Uber Allies: Private Hire Service Integrated Into App”

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #10: Moquette Design

For the tenth part of this series, what makes a marvellous moquette?

C920 FMP, Leyland Lynx 252 (interior).
Note the dashing moquette: the yellow, orange and brown of John Holdsworth’s FBA106 moquette, known as Autumn Gold.

The moquette of a bus seat fulfils two purposes. One is to project the bus operator’s corporate identity. Another is to make the bus seats look as good as clean, even if the seat has been sat on several times a shift.
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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #9: Bus Seats

For the ninth part of this series, the foibles of bus seats

C920 FMP, Leyland Lynx 252 (interior).
Seats in All Parts: real bus seats as seen on a preserved Leyland Lynx single decker bus.

 

In our previous part, we looked at how some bell pushes can be used as an extension of the big bus owning groups’ corporate identity. The same can be true with the look and feel of our bus seats.

Over the last two decades, a typical bus seat has evolved from bench style seating to individual seats. More like mini coach seats with plastic backing. In the UK, our bus seats have moquette, a hardwearing material which not only adds colour, but also covers the cushion.
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Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #8: Bell Pushes

The bells were ringing, for me and my bus… in our long awaited eighth part of this series

A row of bell pushes, seen on a First Greater Manchester Optare Solo.
A row of bell pushes, seen on 40321, a First Greater Manchester Optare Solo.

Ever since John Greenwood’s original bus service ran from Salford to Pendleton in 1824, there has been a way of reminding the driver to stop the vehicle. Firstly, coachmen would announce certain stops along the route for the benefit of its passengers. On trams, a bell code would remind passengers of their stops. This was perpetuated on trolleybuses and standard diesel buses. Continue reading “Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #8: Bell Pushes”

The Duffers’ Guide to Rail Operations: Rail Replacement Buses

The first of a series of posts from East of the M60

Besides the realisation of finding out about next year’s season ticket prices, there is one phrase which commuters dread. Almost as much as the inevitability of cancellations or delays beyond the franchisees’ or Network Rail’s control. One phrase which often means inferior rolling stock and extended journey times.

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