Optare Solo MA51 AEW, Denshaw (April 2015).

Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester V, The Ocarina of Bus Times: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten more lost bus routes of Greater Manchester

When did we last do a Lost Bus Routes Not So Perfect Ten? The answer to that was eight years ago. Since then, Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester has spawned a fair number of spin-offs. These have focused on individual routes or a collection of routes in and around Greater Manchester.

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The X67: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

Remembering Manchester’s express route to Chesterfield which, at one time, continued to Lincoln

Chesterfield ... where to catch a bus.
The East Midland Bus Station has changed dramatically since North Western Road Car Company was one of the X67’s joint operators. Image by Barry W*******, 2011. (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

Once upon a time, almost fifty years ago, it was possible to cross the Pennines by bus from Manchester, via a number of different routes. Without a change of bus en route. Today, there are only three routes where you can do just that. Two of which are National Express coach services: the 351 to Sheffield, and the 060 to Leeds via the M62. The only proper service bus to do that is First Greater Manchester’s 184 service to Huddersfield. Continue reading “The X67: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special”

J.A. Griffiths’ Bus Routes: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

A look at the 223 and 227 routes from Hyde

#4 Obsolete
A steam engine shed in Dinting formerly part of the Dinting Railway Centre, close to the terminus of the long forgotten 227 service. Image by Trevor King (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Some Rights Reserved).

The start of bus deregulation gave us a mix of smaller operators, trying to muscle in on the big boys’ territory. Some had great success, identifying niche markets and developing new bus routes. Among the new wave of bus operators were established coach operators. Some of which, like Mayne of Manchester, had operated buses in their earlier years, and prior to deregulation. Continue reading “J.A. Griffiths’ Bus Routes: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special”

Park Bridge’s Bus Routes: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

A look at past attempts to introduce buses to Park Bridge

Park Bridge Mill
What’s left of Park Bridge Mill, photographed in March 2011.

Park Bridge is as much a cradle of the Industrial Revolution as Ironbridge and Coalport in Shropshire. Also its much bigger brother on the banks of the River Medlock, further downstream. According to tradition, the iron from the Park Bridge Iron Works were used for the rivets of the Eiffel Tower.

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The 666 Rides Again: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

A look at Greater Manchester’s lost bus route from Hell

If you celebrate Halloween (I personally don’t), we at East of the M60 hope you enjoy yourself and not get too giddy. Thanks to my recent attendance at the Museum of Transport in Cheetham, I was surprised to find that Greater Manchester Transport (or, more specifically, Lancashire United Transport under GMT’s ownership) had its very own 666 bus route.

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The 0x Factor: A Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester Special

Greater Manchester’s ultimate Lost Bus Route?

Whilst Wythenshawe was close to reaching its target 100,000 population, most of its population relied on Manchester Corporation’s buses. Most residents shopped in the centre of Manchester or Northenden prior to the opening of its Civic Centre in the late 1960s. Some Wythenshavians moved to the new town from inner city suburbs like Ardwick, Gorton, Collyhurst and Chorlton-on-Medlock, and visited the pubs in their former homes.

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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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Even More Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect Ten

The Long Awaited Follow Up to The Follow Up

A picture of a Dennis Dart SLF in SpeedwellBus livery
GONE: SpeedwellBus’ S50 route to Mossley (Hey Farm), one of 30 Lost Bus Routes in Greater Manchester covered on East of the M60 since 2009.

Since the last follow-up in November 2009, the bus scene in Greater Manchester has seen its fair share of upheavals. It has been a tale of expanding and contracting independent companies. We have cross-boundary service retention disputes, GMPTE changing its name and M-blem (sacrilege though alas legally necessary) and its flat concessionary fare go the way of the dinosaurs. The only constant (along with death and taxation) is the conurbation’s fluid nature of its network, even now.

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More Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect 10

Since I wrote the first instalment of Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester, there has already been a favourable response in terms of comments and visitor numbers. This has prompted me to continue the series further. With the fluid nature of post-deregulation bus operations from 1986, it has made for fascinating reading and jogged a few memories of those who have almost forgotten the routes.

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First Greater Manchester Out Of Service Mercedes Citaro, 2018

Lost Bus Routes of Greater Manchester: The Not So Perfect 10

Defunct bus routes in Greater Manchester formed after deregulation day

For the most part of the last 25 years, bus operations outside London have been subject to the worst excesses of neoliberal economics.  Networks have continuously shifted to meet ‘market demands’, resulting in an unstable system which has seen falling passenger numbers.  This has seen inferior service quality, higher fares and older vehicles on our streets.  Greater Manchester is no exception, and even more so, having had at one time some 71 operators within the GMPTE ticketing boundary.

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