Intriguingly, Part B of the meeting discussed the introduction of orbital bus routes, something that was part of the failed TIF bid earlier this year. While no details of what was discussed have been published, here' what we do know:
- Rochdale and Oldham will get an improved link to North Manchester General Hospital thanks to new First Manchester service 56, running from Rochdale to NMGH via Milnrow, Shaw and Oldham every 30 minutes.
- Service 58 (Rochdale - Oldham - Middleton) is extended from Middleton to Bury via Heywood.
- Stockport will get a direct bus link with Sale thanks to the re-routing of services 370 and 371. From Baguley these services will now run via Brooklands and Sale Moor to Sale. This means poorer connections to Timperley and Altrincham.
Both these changes take place from 26th October.
Elsewhere, First is cutting frequencies. Services 98 (Manchester - Bury) and 123/124 (Manchester - Langley) both go from every 10 minutes to every 15. Additionally, the 123/124 is rerouted between Collyhurst and Manchester to run via Queens Road and Cheetham Hill in order to serve Manchester Fort Shopping Centre. While improving links to Manchester Fort, this means a longer route for those traveling to and from Langley. Service 32 (Wigan - Manchester) is being cut to hourly during off-peak periods with a number of peak-period journeys also axed.
The one service First is boosting is the 17 - that wouldn't be anything to do with JPT's recently introduced competitive journeys, would it?
Among Arriva's changes, the 245 (Flixton - Altrincham) is extended to Manchester Airport via Hale and is renumbered 18A.
In the run up to Christmas, Stagecoach Manchester is improving service 250 (Manchester - Trafford Centre) with extra journeys and introducing an additional limited stop X50 service for shoppers wanting a quick link to and from the retail complex. No word on a timetable for this other than it's daily. Look out for all these changes beginning on the 25th and 26th of September.
[Image credit: Gene Hunt on Flickr]
UPDATE: Thanks to the commenters and emailers who have pointed out that its only the 370 being rerouted to Sale, not the 371. Also, Stagecoach's timetable for the new X50 is on their website here (PDF link).