Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge, 11 October 2009

What Has the North Done For Us?

Quite a lot to be honest!

Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge (widescreen)
The iconic Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

Imagine a world without Northern England. It would be a dull place devoid of The Beatles, iconic suspension bridges, daft footballers, and railway lines. Prior to the late 1970s, we were the manufacturing heart of the world. We built bridges, ships, made cutlery and built the world its locomotives and carriages. Today, most of what manufacturing capacity we had has been eviscerated by London-centric governments and globalisation. Prior to the mid 1980s, we kept most of our country’s power stations ticking over and our houses warm, before they closed down the pits and started importing its coal.

Continue reading “What Has the North Done For Us?”

Countdown to Black Monday, 08 September 2014: Your Questions Answered

Everything you need to know about changes to evening peak fares this coming month

Class 153, Manchester Victoria, Platform 2
Another export from Workington: this stunning Class 153 which came from the same Lillyhall plant as your beloved Pacer unit in the previous article. Here’s the old roof, which is being dismantled and replaced by a new one. Paid for by yours truly, the squeezed commuter and even more squeezed casual traveller.

On hearing about the changes covered in our previous article, we at East of the M60 were aggrieved to say the least. Incensed because of the effects it would have on casual travellers. Fuming over this sanction being the most retrograde rail development in Greater Manchester since the arrival of the Class 142 Pacer unit. Continue reading “Countdown to Black Monday, 08 September 2014: Your Questions Answered”

DfT Imposes Evening Peak Restrictions on Northern Rail Users

Price of a cheap day trip set to double in September

  • Evening Ranger tickets face abolition;
  • Blow for Northern English nighttime economy;
  • Changes set to boost Metrolink patronage and increase road congestion.

Class 142 Pacer DMU, Manchester Piccadilly, post-rush hour
See this Pacer unit here: you’ve paid for this when it was one of many Leyland’s Nationals from Workington. Then you paid for British Rail to convert it into a DMU. Guess what? From early September, you’ll be paying even more for it if you wish to travel after 4pm!

From the 08 September, the price of a short train journey between 4.00 to 6.30pm is set to double on weekdays. Passengers wishing to travel by train throughout the Transport for Greater Manchester, Metro West Yorkshire and Travel South Yorkshire will be unable to use Off-Peak Day Return tickets during the evening peak. Continue reading “DfT Imposes Evening Peak Restrictions on Northern Rail Users”

Transpennine Express Service Boost for Stalybridge

New timetable sees three trains per hour to West Yorkshire

Stalybridge Station and Class 185

From the 18 May, there will be more Yorkshire bound trains from Stalybridge railway station. The new timetable will not only see the retention of its service to Scarborough and Liverpool Lime Street. Stalybridge will also be an additional stop on the Manchester Piccadilly to Hull Paragon service. Therefore, including the all stations service to Huddersfield, there will be three trains per hour to Huddersfield. Services to Leeds and Manchester Piccadilly will be every half hour. Continue reading “Transpennine Express Service Boost for Stalybridge”

A Little Gem of a Comfy Bus (or Three)

Two new operators hit the streets of Greater Manchester this July

Cumfybus MX55WDG
Coming soon to a Bolton street near you: a Cumfybus Optare Solo. Photograph by Alan Sansbury (Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved license).

The fluid nature of the Greater Manchester bus scheme never fails to fascinate East of the M60, and a fair chunk of its regular readers. Conversely, the presence of new operators may infuriate some passengers, particularly those accustomed to single operator season tickets. Continue reading “A Little Gem of a Comfy Bus (or Three)”

Top Beer: 1. Liverpool Organic Brewery’s Kitty Wilkinson

A Beer and an Imbiber: East of the M60’s new real ale feature

The United Kingdom’s most unique contribution to the food and drink world is its multiplicity of cask conditioned and bottle conditioned ales. Real ale is enjoying a rise in popularity, but the amount of beer (crappy keg lagers and bitters included) supped in licensed premises has fallen. Therefore, the same crappy keg beers are – increasingly – drank at home thanks to nasties like the Beer Tax Escalator which favours superstore chains over pubs. Continue reading “Top Beer: 1. Liverpool Organic Brewery’s Kitty Wilkinson”

350 North West Bus Drivers Fly South for the Summer

Stagecoach drivers set to play key role in London 2012 Olympic Games 

  • Large scale bus operation for athlete and media transport;
  • Additional rail services for spectators;
  • 350 bus drivers from North West England to be part of the games

Enviro 200 MX11 HGF, Stagecoach Manchester, Ashton-under-Lyne bus station
From Carlisle to Sharston: Stagecoach’s North West and Manchester operations will form an integral link in the success of London 2012’s bus operation.

With only three to four weeks to go till the Olympic Games, it has been confirmed that Stagecoach’s bus and rail operations will play a key part in the efficient transportation for athletes, spectators and press between venues. More than 2,630 bus drivers and support staff from the Orkney Islands to Dover and Eastbourne will be deployed, following selection by LOCOG, the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. There will also be extra trains added to Stagecoach’s South West Trains and East Midlands Trains rail franchises, and special tickets for spectators. Continue reading “350 North West Bus Drivers Fly South for the Summer”

TJ Hughes: A Victim of Britain’s Two Speed Economy?

A shift towards online business or supermarket chains or a result of depressed incomes? East of the M60 investigates.

The 1993 opening of Oldham’s branch of TJ Hughes was a Godsend for persons yearning for cheap clothes and footwear. It coincided nicely with the opening of the Spindles Shopping Centre and the refurbishment of its older sister. Oldham at the time was one of Greater Manchester’s most popular town centres. Set in the Town Square Shopping Centre’s former Presto store, it would later occupy a street level unit, formerly leased by Toy and Hobby. Continue reading “TJ Hughes: A Victim of Britain’s Two Speed Economy?”