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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #4481
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The times that are busiest for a hospital will always be in/out of the shifts ei 7am, 9am, 2/3pm, 5pm and of course when clinics bunch the appointments as in 930am onwards ti 4pm.

I am personally not fully bought into the ideas of cross town buses yet.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #4482
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motortownman View Post
Sadly, the number 18 extension to Rusholme doen't seem to be doing very well at all. Occasionally, you may see one or two ppassengers on it but generally it's empty. I would have thought it would be bedding on now. On the other hand, maybe not many actually want to use it?

How long till they review it or take it off I wonder?

It also makes me wonder about the other cross city services and whether that are actually required or a fantasy. My opinion is that's it's not the routes which need to be changed, it's the ticketing system, that way it doesn't make the slightest difference who is operating the service.

Let's hope the 18 starts to get busier like the 50 appears to have.
The 18 terminates in the estate I live in so I use it often to get into Manchester. I would use it as a non-stop bus to get to Rusholme or the Academy on a night out but during the day I don't have much need for it.

I'm sure it will pick up.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #4483
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I travel along Oxford Road and Portland Street during the week and the passenger levels on the 18 do vary. You do find some buses with no passengers on or maybe one or two but then occasionally you see one with maybe 10 or 12 people on board and you do get a few people travelling cross-city too rather than just getting off around Piccadilly Gardens.

I think it just depends on the time of day and how many buses are travelling along Oxford Road at the time. Two problems with the 18 extension are a) the route doesn't go far enough down Oxford Road/Wilmslow Road to appeal to some passengers and b) First haven't really publicised the cheap ticket offers on the 18 for anyone in the south of the city (FirstDay £2.50, FirstWeek £9 etc).

http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/grea...ve_with_first/
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #4484
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I used to drive the cross city bus services before deregulation in 1986 and I can't say that the demand was actually very high. Examples being the 95 and 96 that went from East Didsbury to Whitefield via Piccadilly and Victoria (95 Kingsway and Lower Broughton and 96 via Parrswood Road and Strangeways). The bus would empty of passengers coming from the south by the time it had left the Arndale and be filling up with the new passengers. Hardly anyone went through and if they did it was very small numbers. The 82 from Chorlton to Oldham Waterhead was the same. By the time you left the top of Oldham Street all the southereners were off.
It doesn't actually save any bus stops by having cross city bus stops, you still need two stops, and preferably 5 minutes waiting time at each to load and unload the passengers, so it's exactly the same as it is now.And some of the stops weren't always convenient or a pleaseant place to wait, ie the 76 and 77 from Hollinwood to Fallowfield where the main picking up place going towards Fallowfield was on Newton Street. I also remember huge gaps in services sometimes up to 40 minutes on the 82 where something at one end went wrong, so therefore the other end had nothing to replace it.

I think it was just different and not always better. Unless you wear rose tinted specatcles of course.

Last edited by Motortownman; December 9th, 2012 at 05:54 PM.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:53 PM   #4485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Priscilla QOTD View Post
I was just about to make a post saying the opposite. I work on the Oxford road corridor and see the 18 everyday; it has most definitely gained in ridership of late. It's not as busy as some of the peak Stagecoach/Magic Bus services, but there are definitely more than one or two passengers; I've seen a couple that looked half full!

This may not be the case throughout the day, and it does seem to suffer from bunching quite badly, but it's still quite new. I also think using 'Rusholme' on the destination blind may hinder it's popularity, as I daresay there will be plenty of people in North Manchester who don't have a clue where that is. 'Central Manchester Hospitals' would be better; as with the 50, which doesn't just say 'Salford', it lets people know the bus is going where they want to be.

I do, however, wholeheartedly agree with the ticketing argument. As in London, TfGM needs the powers to set fares countywide regardless of operator.
Have to say I agree with what you are saying. Now when I notice how many passengers are on the 18, the place I make an effort to look is on Portland Street where you are more likely to see how useful the service is as that's the part where they will be going through town.As for how many use it on Oxford road, then that may be a different story, although at that point it's only picking up because it got there first or the passenger has a System One. So if that's the case, it's not really added anything to the overall network.
I also agree about the destination display. I said this a few weeks ago but don't think many agreed. "Rusholme" isn't good and neither is the via part underneath. It doesn't even scroll which doesn't help.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #4486
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SNIP!!!!!!

I've just heard that Arriva have lost the 263. From what I hear, Goodwins will take it over from January and the buses have or are being delivered to run it. If this is true, it will give Goodwins a very big presence in Trafford. From what I've seen they run modern, clean buses that are punctual (unlike Arriva) so this is another improvement.

After years of stagnantation, seems the buses are undergoing some very big changes recently.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #4487
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Very big news if true. The 263 is an extremely popular service.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #4488
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Very big news if true. The 263 is an extremely popular service.
Yes, and could be even better if it was run properly. Something that Arriva never tried to attempt. A look at the timetable gives a clue as to why it's so bad with 3 or 4 sometimes bunching up together. Hopefully the timetable will change too!

example; Piccadilly to Phoenix 8 minutes (stagecoach 10 minutes, 13 in the peaks.) Phoenix to Trafford bar 9 minutes (stagecoach 10 minutes, 12 minutes in the peaks) Trafford Bar to Stretford 9 minutes (stagecoach between 10 and 13 minutes, up to 20 in parts of the peak) ..... and so on.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:21 PM   #4489
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From tomorrow Stalybridge will have 3 trains an hour from Victoria for most of the day and will also gain a through service to Kirkby

The alterations to make this work are

The XX:09 arrival that used to stand till XX:46 will now run to Stalybridge at XX:13

The XX:04 arrivals from Kirkby will now stable instead for the Southports.

The arrival back from Stalybridge will now form the XX:10 Vic - Kirkby.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:37 PM   #4490
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurelink View Post
Very big news if true. The 263 is an extremely popular service.
Especially when the trams are knackered and Met tickets are accepted on 263!
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #4491
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motortownman View Post
SNIP!!!!!!

I've just heard that Arriva have lost the 263. From what I hear, Goodwins will take it over from January and the buses have or are being delivered to run it. If this is true, it will give Goodwins a very big presence in Trafford. From what I've seen they run modern, clean buses that are punctual (unlike Arriva) so this is another improvement.

After years of stagnantation, seems the buses are undergoing some very big changes recently.
How will they make the 263 route more punctual? The traffic down Washway Road in the morning peak is ridiculous!
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Old December 9th, 2012, 10:55 PM   #4492
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As far as I am aware the 263 isn't a tendered service, so I can't see Arriva dropping it - does the Goodwins takeover maybe only apply to certain journeys (late evening or weekend)?
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Old December 9th, 2012, 11:02 PM   #4493
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I used to know Geoff Goodwin, owner of Goodwins buses.

He is based over near Eccles.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #4494
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A side note on the 18 discussion - I think it's basically a bit of an odd service to have extended. Whilst I agree that many people probably do get off at the city centre, and then it picks up some new passengers up to Middleton.

A better extension would have been one of the buses from along Salford Crescent all the way down following the 42 route. This would be immensely popular with Salford University students who generally move down there after their first year in Castle Greyskull (Castle Irwell!). Most student accommodation is in the south of the city, and would give better dividends than hospital-goers, most (but not all!) of which I would assume are on OAP Passes?
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Old December 10th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #4495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apologiesforthedelay View Post
How will they make the 263 route more punctual? The traffic down Washway Road in the morning peak is ridiculous!
One of the ways is what I showed above with the timings compared to the Stagecoach ones. In the evening peak the 263 gets 7 minutes less to get from Picadilly to Stretford Mall than the Stagecoach alternative timings. You need to have more running time to stop bunching but not too much as to make it snailbus when the schools are off. AS TfGM won't allow more than 5 minutes on the Piccadilly stands, then the extra turnround time needs to be at Altrincham.

Another example that stands out is at the Altrincham end in the evening peak. The Arriva 263 gets 6 minutes from Altrincham to Broadheath. The Stagecoach x41 gets 9 minutes, 50% extra, so the 263 is off to a bad start the second it leaves Altrincham.

Also Arriva haven't fitted radios to their buses which doesn't help if the Inspectors want to know where they are. Then they may be able to regulate them, ie, put "not in service" on the front and only stop to drop passengers off if the one behind has caught up, or even transfer the passengers onto the second bus, turn round somewhere and come back in service at the correct time. As once offs this is quite acceptable, but when it's every day then they need to rewrite the timetables, something Arriva rarely do. This is what First have been forced to do this year and what Stagecoach have been doing over the last 4 or five years gradually.

The way it is now the poor drivers on the 263 are being run ragged going round and round for hours chasing their tails isn't good as it encourages bad driving and the complaints start.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #4496
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motortownman View Post
One of the ways is what I showed above with the timings compared to the Stagecoach ones. In the evening peak the 263 gets 7 minutes less to get from Picadilly to Stretford Mall than the Stagecoach alternative timings. You need to have more running time to stop bunching but not too much as to make it snailbus when the schools are off. AS TfGM won't allow more than 5 minutes on the Piccadilly stands, then the extra turnround time needs to be at Altrincham.

Another example that stands out is at the Altrincham end in the evening peak. The Arriva 263 gets 6 minutes from Altrincham to Broadheath. The Stagecoach x41 gets 9 minutes, 50% extra, so the 263 is off to a bad start the second it leaves Altrincham.

Also Arriva haven't fitted radios to their buses which doesn't help if the Inspectors want to know where they are. Then they may be able to regulate them, ie, put "not in service" on the front and only stop to drop passengers off if the one behind has caught up, or even transfer the passengers onto the second bus, turn round somewhere and come back in service at the correct time. As once offs this is quite acceptable, but when it's every day then they need to rewrite the timetables, something Arriva rarely do. This is what First have been forced to do this year and what Stagecoach have been doing over the last 4 or five years gradually.

The way it is now the poor drivers on the 263 are being run ragged going round and round for hours chasing their tails isn't good as it encourages bad driving and the complaints start.
From a passenger's perspective I agree entirely with this. The best that can be said about the 263 is that it is more reliable (and less crowded) than Metrolink!

Stagecoach appears to be a much more professional operation and pro-actively adjusts timetables, so that you can be reasonably confident that the bus will turn up within a few minutes of the advertised time (unless there is major traffic disruption). ANW timetables seem to be works of fiction, especially the 263. If I have an important appointment, I allow at least 20 minutes extra.
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Old December 10th, 2012, 11:20 PM   #4497
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As far as I am aware the 263 isn't a tendered service, so I can't see Arriva dropping it - does the Goodwins takeover maybe only apply to certain journeys (late evening or weekend)?
I would guess if some of the journeys are tendered, it'll be something like the late evening journeys. However, I suspect it'll probably something like schoolday journeys or perhaps Goodwins trying to build up a network in the Sale and widner Trafford area by running between Altrincham and Sale/Stretford.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 08:45 PM   #4498
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Could be, though I'd imagine that market is saturated with Finglands on it as well now - Arriva have recently introduced 19A's which run between Sale and Altrincham during the week (co-incidentally timed one minute ahead of the Finglands journeys!) which has increased frequency from one 19 every 15 minutes to 10 per hour (plus the 16 which runs the same route)!

Evening and weekend tenders could be likely though, unfortunately the timetable doesn't show which journeys are tendered unlike most TFGM ones.
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Old December 11th, 2012, 09:05 PM   #4499
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Had a look at the city centre transport strategy from a few years ago today (I was bored). The cross city buses envisaged then were more ambitious and likely to be more useful than the ones we're currently getting. Rather than stopping at Whitworth Park the services from the north were planned to go much further out of town towards major employment centres in the south of the region. The Oxford Road Corridor would have been exclusively for BRT and CCB services speeding the cross city services up (making them far more useful for northern commuters).

Hopefully some of these plans can be progressed at some point.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #4500
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The 33 to Wigan, a route that was operated by First, now Stagecoach;

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