Interesting Manchester bus routes

Discussion in 'Buses & Coaches' started by pjnathanail, 10 Aug 2015.

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  1. pjnathanail

    pjnathanail Member

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    I am staying in Manchester for the next few days and I would be grateful for some recommendations of "interesting" bus routes. By interesting I mean ones which either have interesting vehicle allocations - such as minibuses, coaches or older vehicles, take strange routes all round the houses etc or routes which go quite rural. In particular the ones that run very infrequently via minor rural roads etc are quite interesting to me. I don't particularly enjoy sitting in traffic on a standard urban bus!

    Any suggestions are welcomed, thank you in advance.
     
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  3. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Depending which flavour your get, the 184 will take you to some rural parts of Saddleworth or even over the Pennines to Huddersfield - for some reasons it's sevedral different routes at the outer end with the same number, so check the timetable carefully. The bus from Oldham over Scouthead has some excellent views (forget what number it has these days!).
     
  4. neilmc

    neilmc Member

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    Depends how far out of Manchester you wish to go, the routes in the outlying border areas will tend to be interesting in terms of meandering rural locations. A couple which I find interesting and accessible and won't leave you dumped in a remote place are the 50 from central Manchester to Salford Quays which follows a roundabout route which hardly anyone takes in its entirety (the tram is much quicker) and 247 from Altrincham to Trafford Centre which gets fairly rural in parts in its linking of all the western parts of Trafford.

    The TFGM website allows downloads of maps and timetables and is quite extensive, with ticket price information (gets complex if you wish to incorporate tram or train).

    Consider getting a SystemOne daysaver rather than an individual company's day ticket since Stagecoach tend to work South Manchester and First work North Manchester, with some overlap and Arriva in the western parts especially Trafford and less frequent evening services often change operator.
     
  5. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    Indeed. The first route that came to mind for 'round the houses' for me is 88 Altrincham to near the Airport Freight Terminal (but not the Airport Terminals) to Wilmslow to Knutsford but that runs around the outskirts of Greater Manchester and in to Cheshire.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    With First buying Finglands and Stagecoach buying the Wigan operations from First as well as Bluebird and JPT, that's not as true as it once was. Although, while Finglands buses were a common sight in Altrincham, First Bus don't currently operate public bus services to Altrincham during Mon-Sat daytime.
     
    Last edited: 11 Aug 2015
  6. trickyvegas

    trickyvegas Member

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  7. Statto

    Statto Established Member

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    There's a similar route 350 from Ashton to Oldham although doesn't go as far as Denshaw but a roundabout route serving Delph, Uppermill & couple of other villages.

    22 Bolton-Stockport interesting route but need to have plenty of time to do the full route which takes 135 minutes & is every 30 minutes. There's the 32 Manchester-Wigan not sure the standard vehicles now Stagecoach operate the route sadly gone to hourly from every 30 minutes.
     
  8. gnolife

    gnolife Established Member

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    I'd recommend the following for scenery

    304 Hyde - Marple
    341 Hyde - Hattersley - Glossop
    350 Ashton - Mossley - Oldham
    353 Ashton - Stalybridge - Carrcote
    354 Ashton - Stalybridge - Denshaw
    358 Stockport - Marple - Hayfield
    375 Stockport - Marple - Mellor
    394 Stockport - Marple - Glossop
    407 Oldham - Denshaw
    456 Rochdale - Hollingworth - Littleborough (returns as 458)
    480 Bury - Affetside - Bolton
    511 Bury - Breightmet - Bolton
    535 Bolton - Belmont
     
  9. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    I'm not sure there's any regular services which get coaches since Stagecoach withdrew their Manchester to Blackpool service.

    I would think your best chance for getting older buses is to use Magic Bus or routes which are First double deckers (not the 135 route between Manchester and Bury which is usually bendy buses.)

    For something different there is the local link. I think they use minibuses on at least some services: http://www.tfgm.com/buses/local_link/Pages/index.html
     
  10. pjnathanail

    pjnathanail Member

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    Thank you to everybody for your suggestions, they have been very useful. Today I took the X50 to Trafford Centre and then the 247 to Altrincham which fitted the bill nicely as far as rural services go - some very tight turns towards the end. Then I took GHA 88 as far as Wilmslow (where my system one validity extended to) before taking a 378 back to Stockport. On the way I was sidetracked by an X57 in Bramhall so I took that back to Manchester. Tomorrow I am on a coach from the airport in the afternoon but I will have the chance to make use of some of the other suggestions in the morning before I go. Thanks once again!
     
  11. Xenophon PCDGS

    Xenophon PCDGS Veteran Member

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    At stand 5 at Macclesfield bus station which is the one used by the 130 Manchester Piccadilly to Macclesfield service, Arriva are currently displaying notices to the effect that some tickets (System 1?) on that route are only valid from Manchester to Wilmslow and not from Wilmslow to Macclesfield.
     
  12. pjnathanail

    pjnathanail Member

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    According to the system one validity map here http://www.systemonetravelcards.co.uk/public/files/bus-network.pdf Wilmslow is the southern boundary of the scheme, so that would make sense. When boarding the GHA 88 at Altrincham the driver asked me where I was going, and Wilmslow was fine, I presume an answer of Knutsford for example would have resulted in a request for an additional fare. At £5.60 (bus only, peak price) the ticket is very good value in my opinion, although if there was a wider area perhaps at a higher price that would also be good.
     
  13. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    If you wanted to be really adventurous you can get a GM Wayfarer for £12 which would cover you on the X41 from Manchester as far as Burnley or the TP from Manchester as far as Matlock.

    http://tfgm.com/journey_planning/Documents/PDFMaps/Wayfarer-bus-map.pdf

    It's also valid on the rail lines shown and all of Metrolink. It's valid all day on buses but only after 09:30 on Metrolink and rail on weekdays.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I should have thought of that one yesterday. The 247's a lot better for that for the 245 which also runs between the Trafford Centre and Altrincham via a different route.
     
  14. pjnathanail

    pjnathanail Member

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    Thank you once again for all your suggestions. I spent last Wednesday (my final day in Manchester) making as much use of them as possible! I started off with a NatEx coach to Chadderton, as recommended by Google Maps. At £1.80 for the 17 minute journey it is very good value, although the driver was a bit bemused as to why I was making such a short journey on an express coach service. I then took the 59 into Oldham, my first target destination. Here I was able to pick up the 350 towards Ashton. I rode the 350 for its entire 75 minute end to end journey, enjoying the fabulous views and some very tight roads in some areas. At Ashton I took the 389 to Hyde, wandering around the houses somewhat, mainly because the bus was a Marshall bodied Dart that I fancied a ride on. At Hyde I took advantage of the GMPTE travel shop, purchasing a young persons coachcard and my coach tickets home, before heading to Glossop on the 341. Here there were more great countryside views, interspersed with housing estates and wasteland, all of which was interesting for different reasons. I got off in Simmondley to change onto the 394, using the only 394 of the day to serve that area of Glossop. I got off somewhere between Marple and Stepping Hill to catch the return service to Glossop, which was running two minutes early when I boarded. We picked up just one person on our way back to Glossop, and the service got progressively earlier. I arrived in Glossop earlier than I had planned, but too late to do another journey. As a result I took the Stagecoach 236 to the Gun Inn in Hollingsworth, where my National Express coach was to pick me up. The coach arrived around 10 minutes late, and I ended my exploration of Manchester with fantastic views from the very front of the coach during the journey through Crowden and Stocksbridge into Sheffield.

    Still on my particular to do list are the 951, which I have never managed to travel on (although I have been aware of it for ages because it appears in the Peak District bus timetable book produced by Derbyshire County Council) and the 304, which runs so infrequently I couldnt fit it in.
     
    Last edited: 17 Aug 2015
  15. neilmc

    neilmc Member

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    Glad you had a great time. I'd forgotten about the Crowden route as offering relatively local journeys on a National Express coach. It's the only place I know of which is only accessible by coach and not stage carriage service which means that pensioners are denied their rights to free travel under the ENCTS scheme. However as hardly anyone lives there and it's an outpost of Derbyshire which Derbyshire CC appear not to be very interested in, this probably won't change. I don't think it is shown in any Derbyshire bus timetables I've seen either so well done for finding it.
     
  16. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    When you said rarity I thought you were going to mention this (new) one:

    http://www.tfgm.com/journey_planning/RouteMaps/352-Uppermill.pdf

    Good luck on finding a pass (apart from an ENTCS) that's valid on the whole route.
     
  17. johnnychips

    johnnychips Established Member

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    I always wonder why Nat express only make a stop at Hollingworth and not Tintwistle and Mottram as well, as the coach has to pass through them anyway. My parents used to live in Mottram, and I've frequently had to trudge up Mottram Moor off the coach from Sheffield. Anybody remember Richardsons X49 service from Sheffield to Manchester Airport that used to stop at both?
     
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