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Bus Service Cuts
Topic posted by Atlantean ... dated:15 January 2017

Several subsidised bus services are proposed to be cut in the next few months if Councillors on the Transport for Greater Manchester Bus Services Committee decide to proceed with them on their meeting of 20th January 

(All routes presently run hourly Mon-Sat Daytime)

268 – Urmston/Davyhulme to Sale and Wythenshawe

From 30th January: The Urmston to Stretford section will be withdrawn (the remaining route will run to Manchester instead).  The result of this will mean no direct link from Barton Road (Stretford) and Lostock Road to Urmston.  Route used by school children in the area to go to Ashton-on-Mersey School and Sale Grammar School.

277 - Kingsway Park to Urmston, Stretford & Gorse Hill

From 23rd April: Reduced to run between 09:00 and 15:00 only.

278 – Trafford Gen., Flixton, Church Road, Urmston and Winchester Road to Stretford

From 23rd April: Withdrawn. Bus 276 continues, but the withdrawal means only an hourly service on Church Road and Winchester Road (currently routes 276 & 278 combine to provide 2 buses an hour)

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Fudge ... dated:21 July 2017

Bring back the 500 route. I will never know why it was taken off.

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Atlantean ... dated:21 July 2017
The 22 number seemingly disappeared in the 1970s. I presume at SELNEC re-numbering it became the 262 from Burnage to Eccles. The 'modern' 22 was created 26th October 1986 on Deregulation Day. GM Buses introduced a new service, the 22 replacing the 262 but extended it to Stockport and Bolton. The frequency was the same as today. In the evening and on Sundays the 22 ran split services from Stockport to Farnworth and from Farnworth to Bolton.

GM Buses ran the 22 until they were privatised and split into North & South in the 1990s. The 22 was registered with the competition authorities as a joint service because it was operated by depots (Stockport and Bolton) which fell under two separate companies, First and Stagecoach. Under the 1985 Transport Act, bus companies were to expected compete with each other. With the two depots owned by 2 different companies,  the authorities agreed that the two operators could co-ordinate timetables and accept each other’s season tickets in the case of the 22.

Fast-forward to 2017, TfGM brokered this new arrangement of the route being split into the 2 and 25. I suspect both First and Stagecoach agreed to the split for the reasons given. Personally I'd have been happier if the 2 and 25 had overlapped between the Trafford Centre and Eccles. But as First and Stagecoach seem intent on not competing against each other (except on Oxford Road) I can see why this didn't happen.
Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Aardvark ... dated:20 July 2017

Thanks Atlantean. I suppose this was inevitable in many ways. I too have had to wait ages for a 22 at times. They can easily run 25 minutes late on a 30 minute headway, so you never quite knew if the bus you were on was a bit early or horribly late.

North Western Road Car's Time Table [sic] for 1969 also shows the 22 running Eccles - Urmston - Chorlton - Levenshulme. There were no through services from Urmston to Bolton or Stockport back then. Or at any rate, not run by North Western. I think the "modern" 22 was a SELNEC or PTE creation, like the even longer limited stop runs (400 and 500 if you remember them).

There are far worse places to change buses than the Trafford Centre interchange - it even has clean and capacious public lavatories open at night. But I can't help wishing that they'd kept some form of through service across the Ship Canal, if only in the evenings. Something like Swinton or Eccles to Stretford or Chorlton would be easier to manage and could overlap the proposed new 2 and 25 routes.

The 22 was of course a commercial service, for the most part, but did TfGM have any say in its demise at all?

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Atlantean ... dated:20 July 2017
Thanks for posting Aardvark, I was going to post the same. Both the 2 and 25 will run to the same route and frequency of the 22, although as you say, connections cannot be guaranteed at the Trafford Centre as the two are not coordinated. 

The withdrawal of the route is sad but it doesn't surprise me. I think the 22 has run through Urmston on various shorter routes since before World War 2 - Levenshulme to Eccles via Urmston service 22 certainly features in the 1945 North Western timetable booklet.

Today, the 22 is currently over 2 and a half hours long at peak time, meaning a bus leaving Bolton at 8:45 am does not return to Bolton until after 1:30 pm - that's a long route. I have waited for a 22 many times for over 15 minutes, sometimes over 30 minutes.

Separately, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority are assessing the viability of bus franchising following new powers in the Bus Services Act 2017. If agreed, a franchised bus scheme would replace the current commercial system where bus companies decided on their routes & fares to a system of competitive tendering. This would mean that TfGM would control timetables, fares, routes bus liveries, standards and ticketing in a co-ordinated way similar way to the London system – bus companies would competitively bid for routes under contract. 
Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Aardvark ... dated:19 July 2017

The 22 bus route (Bolton - Stockport) is being quite literally cut in two. From Sunday next, 23rd July, it will operate as two entirely separate services, numbered 2 and 25. First Bus will run route 2, Bolton - Trafford Centre. Stagecoach and Manchester Community Transport will run route 25, Trafford Centre - Stockport.

There are occasions when the two services connect into each other, but they are fitful and not guaranteed. If you want to travel from Urmston to somewhere like Swinton, you may need to get a 23 or a 245 to be sure of a connection with the 2 at the Trafford Centre. The bus operators say that they've had to do this because "the existing 22 service is no longer viable to operate. The length of the route and increasing levels of congestion mean it is difficult to provide a reliable service".

Furthermore: "The current reciprocal travel arrangement for one day and seven day tickets between Stagecoach and First on service 22 will end with the withdrawal of this service. You will not be able to travel on Stagecoach service 25 with a First ticket, or travel on First service 2 with a Stagecoach ticket."

The new timetables can be downloaded from the TfGM website.

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Atlantean ... dated:24 April 2017

The 278 bus has now been withdrawn, meaning Church Road and Winchester Road only have an hourly service run by bus 276. The good news is that a Sunday timetable has been introduced on bus 276 serving Church Road and Winchester Road - these roads haven't had a Sunday service for well over a decade. 

Sunday service on 276:

Departs Trafford General 09:31, hourly until 16:31 (except no service at 13:31), arrives Urmston 9 minutes later and Stretford Mall at 54 minutes past.

Departs Stretford Mall 10:05, hourly until 17:05 (except no service at 13:05), arrives Urmston 18 minutes past and at Trafford General at half past.

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Atlantean ... dated:25 January 2017

New 268 timetable uploaded. From Stretford it will run up Talbot Road, Seymour Grove, Ayres Road, Chorlton Road, Ayres Road & Princess Road towards Manchester, and out via Deansgate and Chorlton Road.

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Atlantean ... dated:16 January 2017

The report can be downloaded from the GMCA website , just click on 6. Forthcoming Changes to Bus Network. The changes are listed on page 24 onwards. There are a lot of changes to Altrincham services, where the supported network has been significantly altered.

More general changes are here.

The loss of the 268 means we lose the link from Urmston to Wythenshawe Hospital. The loss will affect nearly 300 passengers per week. The new route for the 268 isn't clear but it will replace the withdrawn 84, so my guess is (from Stretford) Kings Road, Seymour Grove and Chester Road into Manchester.

I agree, an hourly 253 would be an improvement. Perhaps, if the Bus Services Bill currently going through Parliament is pased, and the new Greater Manchester Mayor uses powers in the Bill to end the current deregulated system and franchise the bus network (similar to the London model), it might be a possibility in a few years time?

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Chrism ... dated:15 January 2017

I agree about the 253 on Church Road. I have to use the 255 and walk through, that service is half-hourly but the 256 is every ten minutes whch doesn't make sense to me.

Re: Bus Service Cuts
Reply posted by Aardvark ... dated:15 January 2017

Thanks for the tip. Is this on t'Interweb somewhere? I'm just wondering what else might be for the chop, beyond our particular part of the world. And I'ld like to know how the 268 might reach Manchester.

Getting back to Urmston: it really is high time that they brought back the 253 and gave Church Road a direct service to Manchester again. Even an hourly service would help (it was half-hourly until the off-peak services were withdrawn).

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