All the Greater Manchester bus services being saved from cuts are revealed

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has now confirmed contract awards to replace the 31 bus routes earmarked for withdrawal, while most of the 33 services set to be reduced in frequency or have routes changed will also be replaced.

Dozens of bus routes linking communities across Greater Manchester have been saved from being axed – or seeing services greatly reduced.

More than 60 services were at risk of being pulled or having their timetables slashed from October as the government’s Covid recovery funding came to an end.

Commercial operators in Greater Manchester had identified a raft of unprofitable routes they intended to ditch completely –  or run less often –  sparking fears communities could be cut adrift if new deals could not be struck.

Transport bosses ran a tender process last month in a bid to rescue vital services which people across the region rely on for work, employment, shopping and appointments.

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has now confirmed contract awards to replace the 31 routes earmarked for withdrawal, while most of the 33 services set to be reduced in frequency or have routes changed will also be replaced.

The DfT says the cap should be implemented on ‘virtually’ all bus routes around England

There are a small number of exceptions where alternative services are available.

Bosses say that, without the intervention people could have been cut off from work, employment and education opportunities, as well as family and friends.

Among the services to be spared the axe or reduced timetables are the 42B Woodford to Piccadilly Gardens and the 11 Stockport to Altrincham routes.

Communter Caitlyn Lamb  told the Local Democracy Reporting service last month that the Number 11 was ‘the only bus that gets me to work on time’.

The 26-year old gets the 42B from Woodley to Cheadle, then the 11 to her job in Edgeley. She also uses the 379 -which was also under threat – to get to Bramhall after work.

She also pointed out that students could also be affected.

“The 11 is a great bus because it goes to the Academy where I used to go [to school]  In Edgeley – it’s a main route for teenagers to get to school if they’re coming from Cheadle or Stockport,” she said.

Meanwhile 52-year-old Cheadle resident Peter Drury said he would have been lost without the Number 11 or 11A.

“I would probably have to walk because I can’t afford a taxi every day, it would cost me a fortune.”

“You see the same old faces in the mornings, you get to know everyone,” he said. “ I think a lot of people would be in the same boat.”

And 62-year-old Michael Rice, a regular on the 42B from Cheadle to Cheadle Hulme, said the cuts would have a big impact on his commute.

He catches the bus every day to get from Cheadle to his job at a fencing firm in Cheadle Hulme.  “I would have to walk, probably – I rely on it,” he said.

What has Andy Burnham said about bus services?

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham says it was essential to protect buses ahead of the introduction of bus franchising next year.

He said:  “With Greater Manchester set to start bringing buses back under local control in just over a year, and having introduced new low bus fares just this week, it was vital we didn’t find ourselves with a shrinking bus network.

“That is why we took the decision to step in, save these services and keep our communities connected. 

“Buses are the backbone of our public transport system, and while this is good news for the tens of thousands of people who rely on them every single day, we now need more people to get on board with us, so we can grow and sustain a much-improved public transport network.”

Mayor Andy Burnham arrived into Shudehill Interchange this morning to welcome the introduction of the new price cap on bus fares. Credit: Sofia Fedeczko/Manchester World

TfGM has also been able to retain cross boundary links and timetables through working with neighbouring authorities and operators.

The cost is within the estimated £15m budget, with funding to come from a combination of existing pots and government funding. 

Funds have also been allocated to improve bus services across the city region, including the £135m to transition to bus franchising and funding for Our Pass, which provides free travel for 16 to 18-year-olds.

The conurbation is also investing in the bus system through new vehicles, updating  ticketing technology, and infrastructure -such as bus priority lanes –  which are funded by government grants.

Councillor Andrew Western, chair of the Greater Manchester transport committee, said:  “Through the delivery of the Bee Network we will help people by providing a quality public transport network that is integrated, reliable, and offers value for money.  

“Buses are integral to this and over the next few years we will look to build growth by delivering new quality bus routes, with cleaner buses, integrated fares and better customer information.

“We can only fully realise our ambitious plans for the Bee Network if people get on board and back us by using their local bus or tram service.” 

TfGM says it is  continuing to make the case to government for continued funding as an integrated plan is developed to promote growth of public transport across Greater Manchester through to 2025 and beyond.

The list of services is as follows.

Bolton

Diamond 507 retendered.

Diamond 533 retendered.

Diamond 571/572 retendered.

Manchester

Stagecoach 103 retendered.

Oldham

First 180 retendered.

Rochdale

First 6 retendered to Go North West 

Transdev R3 retendered.

Stockport

Stagecoach 313 retendered.

Stagecoach 322 direct award.

Stagecoach 328 retendered.

Stagecoach 358 – retendered, operator TBC.

Stagecoach 378/379 retendered.

Tameside

Stagecoach 237 retendered.

Wigan

Stagecoach 1 / 2 retendered.

Diamond 597 retendered.

Diamond 635 retendered.

Cross-borough services

Bolton/Bury

Transdev 480 retendred to Vision.

Diamond 511 retendered.

Manchester/Rochdale

Stagecoach 56 retendered.

Manchester/Stockport

42B direct award to contractor.

Manchester/Trafford

Stagecoach 108 – No action proposed operates AM peak

only towards Manchester

Stagecoach X50 retendered to Diamond.

Stagecoach X58 –  No action proposed 256 provides alternative

Stagecoach 34 retendered.

Manchester/Stockport/Trafford

Stagecoach 150 retendered to Diamond.

Oldham/Manchester

First 81 retendered.

First 181 retendered.

First 182 retendered.

First X84 No action proposed 84 provides alternative

Stockport/Manchester/Tameside

Stagecoach 7 retendered.

Stockport/Manchester/Trafford

Stagecoach 11A – retendered to Diamond.

All services will continue to run at current levels (up to a maximum of four buses and hour) with the following exceptions.

Stockport/Manchester/Trafford

Stagecoach 23 operator  Mon-Sat reduction in number of journeys before 0900 

Oldham/Manchester

First 59 – Mon-Fri daytime frequency reduction from 10 to 12 mins

Manchester/Stockport

Stagecoach 197 – Mon-Fri reduction in number of journeys before 0700

Stagecoach 191 – Mon-Fri peak hour revision

Manchester/Trafford

Stagecoach 250 – Sunday services are to run less often, but no action is proposed as buses would still run every 12 minutes.

Stagecoach 253/255 – Mon-Fri Peak Frequency Reduction by withdrawal of one 253 journey.