Fun With Bus Route Branding

A fun little article on How to brand or rebrand our bus routes

One of the key parts of the Department for Transport’s National Bus Strategy is local branding based on community focus instead of operational needs. At present, there are some examples of best practice with Transdev and The Go-Ahead Group marketing its bus routes under memorable names. So much so that passengers are able to remember their bus routes by name instead of number.

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Leyland Titan, Trans-Lancs Vehicle Rally, 2013.

Bus Back Better: Towards a Second Bus Renaissance?

With the possibility of bus franchising in Greater Manchester and improved local networks, has the government fallen in love with our buses?

There are four things that the creator of this blog shares with Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, otherwise known as Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP. One of them is a lackadaisical approach to haircare, plus we share the same horoscope (both myself and the PM are Geminis). We also have impeccable taste in doggies with Jack Russell Terriers. The fourth one is a love of buses.

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Droylsden Library, Alan Murray-Rust (2013)

Droylsden Library Move Back On Track

Brownfield funding source sees return of plans to move Droylsden library to Guardsmen Tony Downes House

Back in 2015, Tameside MBC began a consultation to move Droylsden Library from its existing premises to the ground floor of Guardsmen Tony Downes House. As I attended a creative writing group there (and fell in love with the library), I chose to fill in the consultation.

What I loved about Droylsden’s library was its inter-war modernist exterior. I loved the airiness at street level and the non-fiction section and study area lower down. What I was less impressed with (by 2015 standards) was its approach to all parts of the library for wheelchair users. The lift to its three floors is only suitable for carrying books instead of readers.

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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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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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Packed Pacer

TfGM’s Prospectus For Rail: A Bold Vision to Boost GM Rail Journeys

How would Our Prospectus For Rail boost heavy rail and light rail journeys in Tameside?

Make no bones about it: Manchester is a UEFA Champions League city with EFL Division 2 rail services. In spite of Northern’s introduction of new trains on the Manchester Airport to Barrow-in-Furness route, it can do a lot better.

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Ashton Bus Station By Night

Our Network: Tameside’s Future Transport Network in Greater Manchester

Why Andy Burnham has moved one step closer to bus franchising and how this affects Tameside

Greater Manchester is one step closer to seeing off Nicholas Ridley’s free market experiment. A free market experiment that has seen a 45% drop in bus patronage in Greater Manchester. An experiment which has seen swingeing cuts to the city region’s bus routes and the shotgun divorce of GM Buses in 1994.

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The TAC Building and Ashton Bus Station, as seen in 2011.

A Brief History of TAC

East of the M60’s potted history of TAC (Tameside Administrative Centre) with reference to its successor, Tameside One

On the 25 February 2019, Tameside One – the replacement for Tameside Administrative Centre – will open its doors for the first time. The borough’s cheaper replacement will be more energy efficient and, for the functions of Tameside MBC, a smaller building. It will be shared with Tameside College, the DWP, and Wilko Stores Ltd.

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What’s Eating Into Greater Manchester’s Bus Network?

Why has Greater Manchester’s bus patronage fallen by 15 million since 2014? East of the M60 wonders why we’re all missing the bus

“The Free Market Experiment” – officially known as The Transport Act 1985 – stated that competition would benefit all bus passengers. This was based on the precedent set by The Transport Act 1980. By the end of that year, the state-owned National Bus Company would see competition from private coach operators. The launch of British Coachways, a private sector consortium, would introduce more choice and competition for passengers. Within two years, National Express saw off the British Coachways consortium with its fares and integrated network.

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Andy Burnham: The Free Market Has Failed Greater Manchester’s Buses

Keynote speech marks transition towards the re-regulation of Greater Manchester’s bus network

8551 Leyland Atlantean ANA 551Y, Northern Counties body, Greater Manchester Transport (1981 livery)
As demonstrated by the Northern Counties bodied Leyland Atlantean in this image, a unified identity for Greater Manchester’s bus network could return to our city region’s streets. This bus is seen in the 1981 version of Greater Manchester Transport’s livery.

There are two transport related footnotes which have had a great effect on my near forty-year existence as a child of the universe. The first one was the early years of bus deregulation, which has been well documented on this blog (as My Life in the Company of Buses). The second one, which I haven’t mentioned till now, was the split of GM Buses into GMS Buses and GM Buses North.

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