Back in the early summer a number of Friday and Saturday late night services from Shudehill Interchange were introduced. This followed concern over anti-social behaviour in the Northern Quarter of Manchester city centre around bar and club closing times. A new report, to be presented to GMPTA's Transport Network Committee tomorrow, shows mixed results for these new services.
While First's nightbus services from Shudehill have seen decent passenger loads, the Stagecoach services haven't been so successful and most are likely to be withdrawn in January. This is most likely down to the habit of south Manchester residents using the Piccadilly area for their buses. Services to the south don't go from Shudehill during the day and surveys have shown awareness of the services to be low.
The report indicates that Stagecoach's 203 (to Stockport), 219 (to Stalybridge) and 256 (to Flixton) services did see stable or increased use over the past six months so they may remain in operation. The withdrawn services (mostly serving the Wilmslow Road corridor) have alternatives departing from Piccadilly. No changes to First's night services seem likely.
The good news is that night bus use in both Manchester and Wigan (the only two urban centres in Greater Manchester to offer the services) has increased. This is encouraging, especially in Wigan where usage fell last year.
The full report can be read here (PDF link).
[Image credit: alistarr* on Flickr]