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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If Greater Manchester Transport Did Aeroplanes…

Could we have seen a GMT liveried Concorde flying over Concord Way?

The Greater Manchester Museum of Transport in Cheetham is a wonderful tourist attraction. Besides its collection of buses, bus stop flags, and other artefacts, it has an excellent café. The museum really comes alive on special event weekends – such as the Christmas Cracker or commemorative events. For many people, it is well known for the Trans-Lancs Transport Show which takes place on Heaton Park, on the first Sunday in September.

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Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, February 2018: The Ashton Review of Shops

Our second window on the shop windows for 2018, and it doesn’t make for good reading in parts

Bargain Buys, Warrington Street, Ashton-under-Lyne
A soggy Ashton-under-Lyne in January 2015, taken with a budget priced digital camera (of 1999 vintage).
  • More store closures;
  • Stalybridge to lose branch of Yorkshire Building Society;
  • All the usual comings and goings in the Tameside area.

2018 is only 34 days old and has up to now been dominated by store closures and bank closures. Two of which in Stalybridge, one to follow in Denton, and one in Ashton-under-Lyne. A leading chain store is set to move out of town.

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Tameside and Glossop Bus Service Changes, Winter 2018

Retiming and subtle tweaks party to Tameside’s service changes

First Greater Manchester Wright StreetLite, SM13 NCN, Hyde bus station
Subtle changes will be made to First Greater Manchester’s Tameside routes to improve reliability. The 389 isn’t one of the routes.

Once more, this coming Sunday’s set of service changes are prompted by our dear old friend. Yes, folks, Connie Gestion. Most of Stagecoach Manchester’s changes will see the tweaking of timetables due to congestion.
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Northern and Merseyrail Electrics Rail Strike Update: Three January Dates

News of the latest Arriva Rail North and Merseyrail Electrics strike dates

Following on from last year’s strikes, the first normal working week of 2018 will see three rail strikes in Northern England. As well as Northern’s dispute, Merseyrail Electrics staff will also be striking on the same days.

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Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, January 2018: The Ashton Review of Shops

Our first window on the shop windows for 2018

Ashton Outdoor Market, night time view

  • Happy New Year from the Ashton Review of Shops;
  • Crafty Pint opens in time for Christmas;
  • All the usual comings and goings in the Tameside area.

We at East of the M60 would like to wish all readers a Happy New Year. Whether you read EM60 for the Ashton Review of Shops or our other articles, hello there. If you fancy keeping up to date with our posts, why not give our Facebook page a ‘Like’? (We know you want to).

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2017, In the Company of Buses

East of the M60‘s review of the year from a public transport angle

First Greater Manchester Mercedes Citaro, W366 RJA, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
One of the biggest bus related events in Greater Manchester was the closure of First Greater Manchester’s Bury and Dukinfield depots. With Tameside’s routes served by Oldham depot, Mercedes Citaros have returned to the scene.

If 2016 was eventful, 2017 was even more eventful to the power of five. Testing our city region’s bus operators, rail franchisees, and the Metrolink was the terror attack at Manchester Arena. Greater Manchester also gained a newly elected mayor, and powers to reregulate its own buses. Also a new stretch of railway line.
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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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Retail Comings and Goings in Tameside, December 2017: The Ashton Review of Shops

This month’s window on the shop windows

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Merry Christmas from East of the M60: image by Mike Serigrapher, 2009 (Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved).
  • Small Business Saturday and Tameside Christmas Market;
  • Bake and Taken?
  • Two for joy for accessories retailer;
  • All the usual comings and goings in the Tameside area.

At this time of writing, we are now into the second weekend of the Tameside Christmas Market. In our opinion, Christmas doesn’t really begin in Tameside till the first trees are sold in Vaughan and Lester. With their delightful grotto display.

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