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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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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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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The Case for Stalybridge: Andy Burnham’s Vision for Six Forgotten Towns

Stalybridge as one of six ‘forgotten towns’ in Mayor of Greater Manchester’s revitalisation plan

The polycentric nature of Greater Manchester and each of its boroughs can be a blessing and curse. It is a blessing in the sense where each of the ten boroughs have a character of their own. For example, with my borough [Tameside], the virtually unbroken urban sprawl of Manchester ends in the western part of Stalybridge, Dukinfield, and Hyde. East of the said places, suburbia meets the Pennine foothills alongside charming small towns and villages (Mossley, Broadbottom, Mottram, and Hollingworth in our case). Continue reading “The Case for Stalybridge: Andy Burnham’s Vision for Six Forgotten Towns”

Are We Not Men? No, We Could Be DevoManc Pretty Soon

More powers for Greater Manchester and elected mayor announced

Could an historic agreement between the ten Metropolitan Borough Councils and HM Government bring devolution back to Greater Manchester? Announced by George Osborne today, “Devo Manc” is set to give our conurbation a directly elected mayor and control over its buses. There will also be powers to oversee planning, housing and policing.

Also trumpeted in his announcement will be control over business growth and health and social care budgets. Further powers will also be devolved to the GMCA. They hope for full devolution of all of its allocated public spending. Continue reading “Are We Not Men? No, We Could Be DevoManc Pretty Soon”