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.

Continue reading “What’s Eating Into Greater Manchester’s Bus 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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Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)

East of the M60‘s frank verdict on Philip Hammond’s 2017 Budget

  • Brexit department biggest winner of 2017 Budget;
  • Slight changes for Universal Credit claimants;
  • 16 – 25 Railcard extended to cover persons born from 1986 to 1991;
  • Stamp Duty scrapped for first time buyers.

More than anything, today’s budget was a disappointment. Firstly, we are no clearer as to whether the Trans-Pennine electrification work is going ahead in its unabridged form. Secondly, it seems as if the money for the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena has gone to the Department for Exiting the European Union. Thirdly, those good eggs have cut the waiting time for Universal Credit (but don’t all rush at once). Continue reading “Budget 2017: Money For Brexit (and Changes to UC)”

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”

Public Libraries: As Good Today As They Have Ever Been

For National Libraries Week, East of the M60 looks at why public libraries have an important role in the 21st century

Dukinfield Library, Concord Way, Dukinfield
The first love for many bibliophiles: your local library, such as Dukinfield Library on Concord Way, which opened in November 1984.

Thank goodness for public libraries. With a parent or primary school teacher, they have helped ten of millions of Britons (or billions around the world) to get hooked on reading. Some, like this gentleman, have chosen the TV Times or the Manchester Evening News as their gateway drug (prior to borrowing their first book). Each day, many people call in for their literary fix. They come back for more every three weeks, sometimes carrying up to twelve items with them.

Whether Jackie Collins, Lewis Carroll or O.S. Nock, they can get sucked into a world of uncharted lands, plot lines, or travel back in time. Its mind altering substances, in hardback, paperback, or large print forms, are the written word. A psychosomatic substance for the theatre of the mind, dependent on one’s chosen interests.
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We Need to Talk About Bi-Mode Trains

What are Bi-Mode Trains, and why are they being hailed as a cheaper alternative to fully electrified systems?

At this moment in time, Network Rail are in the midst of realigning The Old Lanky line from Stalybridge to Miles Platting. On completion, it is hoped that overhead line equipment would follow shortly. By 2018, it is claimed that the new timetable will see Ashton trains terminating at Stalybridge. Plus, the possibility of Mossley and Greenfield passengers having to use Manchester Piccadilly and a skip-stop service. Therefore, passengers from the two stations wanting a direct Ashton link would have to get the bus! Continue reading “We Need to Talk About Bi-Mode Trains”

It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Tameside’s General Election Results

East of the M60‘s look at the borough’s General Election results

  • Tameside constituencies remain solid Labour;
  • UKIP vote hammered by increased Labour majorities and modest Conservative swing.
View towards Eastwood bird reserve, Cheethams Park
Set in stone. Even more so with increased majorities for Tameside’s MPs.

At the start of April, any talk of a General Election would have filled many voters with dread. It was expected that Theresa May’s Conservative Party would have a landslide victory. Instead, what happened on the 08 June flew in the face of many predictions. This was scuppered by Jeremy Corbyn’s campaigning in the month up to the election. Not least the crowds and how the agenda switched from Brexit to the state of our public services.

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It’s Up the Poll! 2017: How the General Election Affects You

It’s Up the Poll! looks at how the parties will affect your lifestyle

Bargain Buys opening day, Ashton-under-Lyne: front entrance
Whether it’s our version of Brexit or domestic policies, the next five years could have ramifications for the people of Ashton-under-Lyne, a town that has been at the sharpest end of the DWP’s reforms.

As the General Election nears, we look at how the main parties’ policies will affect your lifestyle. Will your public services be properly funded? Is sealing the Brexit deal your biggest concern?

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It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Business and the General Election

It’s Up the Poll looks at how the parties fare on business issues

Tower Mill, Dukinfield
The reopening of Tower Mill has seen the return of cotton spinning to our area. Will its interests be considered in the next parliament?

Theresa May and Co have called this General Election on the grounds of sealing the Brexit deal. Is there more to this than our status outside the European Union? Will there be a good deal for small businesses as well?

Continue reading “It’s Up the Poll! 2017: Business and the General Election”

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