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Stagecoach in Manchester

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Stagecoach in Manchester

route 192
in Manchester in April 2009
Slogan Moving Greater Manchester Forward
Parent Stagecoach
Founded February 1996
Headquarters Stockport
Service area Greater Manchester (some services overlap into other counties)
Service type Bus services
Hubs Manchester
Depots 6
Fleet 846 (September 2013)
Daily ridership 97 million (December 2012)

Stagecoach in Manchester[1] is a bus operator in Greater Manchester. It is the largest UK bus subsidiary of Stagecoach, carrying 98 million passengers in 2012.[2]


A timeline overview of public transport in Manchester, prior to 1993, is given here.

In December 1993 GM Buses was split in two, GM Buses North[3] and GM Buses South.[1] It was planned that the two companies would compete against one another, but in reality they stuck to the sides of Manchester as indicated by their names.

In April 1994 GM Buses South was sold to a management buyout. It faced an uphill struggle as over 40 competitors were operating GM Buses routes following deregulation, although most of those competed with GM Buses (North). However Bee Line and MTL Manchester did go south, and Finglands, Mayne and Walls were established competitors on lucrative South Manchester routes.

GMBS suffered from operating an elderly fleet, as a stand-alone (nil subsidy) arms' length company, GM Buses had not been able to buy new buses, and thus Daimler Fleetlines and Leyland Atlanteans, the newest by then 15 years old, had to soldier on. Competitors were expanding and GMBS could not make the investment needed.

Stagecoach set up Stagecoach Manchester as a Ribble Motor Services subsidiary, to compete on GMBS's main route 192 with brand new Volvo B6 buses that were far more appealing than GMBS's rundown fleet.

In response to increasing competition by Merseyside Transport, GMBS set up Birkenhead & District[4] in Liverpool, running Daimler Fleetlines in Birkenhead Corporation livery.

Throughout 1994 GMBS bought a large number of second hand buses, mainly Atlanteans and Leyland Nationals. Stagecoach responded with more new buses in the shape of new Alexander PS bodied Volvo B10M-55ss. GMBS used its Charterplan coach fleet to compete with Stagecoach Ribble's route X43 to Burnley. By the end of 1994 everything turned peaceful, Stagecoach agreed to no further competition on route 192, and hired 20 Volvo B6s to GMBS.

In February 1996 Stagecoach purchased the business and rebranded it Stagecoach Manchester. The original Stagecoach Manchester was sold to Finglands.

On 21 January 2008, Stagecoach Manchester purchased the bus operations of A Mayne & Son with 38 buses all transferred to Hyde Road garage.[5][6]

On 10 August 2008, Stagecoach Manchester purchased Bullocks Coaches.[7] Bullocks retained route 147 Oxford Road Link operated as a subsidised university and hospital link. Bullocks' services included route 157 between Woodford and Manchester, which has since been renumbered X57 and made limited stop between East Didsbury and Manchester.

In March 2011, Stagecoach started running the Stockport Metroshuttle service.[8]

On 2 December 2012, Stagecoach Manchester purchased First Greater Manchester's Wigan operation.[9][10] The transaction saw 300 employees, 120 vehicles (although 20 were owned by Transport for Greater Manchester) and the Wigan depot purchased by the former Mayne legal entity.[11][12] The business was rebranded Stagecoach in Wigan although it is managed by Stagecoach Manchester.

On 3 March 2013 Stagecoach purchased Bluebird with 40 buses, 80 staff and its depot lease at Greengate.[13][14][15]



As of October 2013, Stagecoach Manchester had 826 operational buses, of which nearly half are Alexander Dennis Enviro400s which are used on all the main high-freqency commercial routes terminating/beginning in Manchester city centre such as 32, 42, 43, 50, 76, 85, 86, 101, 104, 105, 111, 192, 197, 201, 203, 204, 205, 206, 216, 219, 231, 250, 255, 256, X34, X41, X50 and X57. Enviro 400 hybrid buses are used on routes 42, 43, 192, 197 and 219.

About 10% of the fleet are painted in Magic Bus colours for use on Wilmslow Road bus corridor routes 142 and 143 although some are seen on routes 86 and 216 at peak hours. The fleet list is as follows:

Chassis Body
Alexander Dennis Enviro400H (hybrid) Alexander Dennis Enviro400
Alexander Dennis Enviro400 Alexander Dennis Enviro400
Dennis Trident 2 Alexander ALX400
Dennis Trident 2 East Lancs Lolyne
Dennis Trident 2 Plaxton President
Volvo Olympian Alexander RL
Volvo B7RLE Wright Eclipse Urban
MAN 18.220 HOCL-NR Alexander ALX300
Scania N94UB East Lancs Myllennium
Alexander Dennis Enviro300 Alexander Dennis Enviro300
Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Dart Alexander Dennis Enviro200
Dennis Dart SLF or MPD Plaxton (or Transbus) Pointer
Dennis Dart SLF Alexander ALX200
Optare Solo M850 or M880 Optare Solo

All figures above are correct as of 15 October 2013.


Stagecoach Manchester mainly run services in the southern areas of Greater Manchester, serving Stockport, Trafford, Tameside and south and central Manchester. They also run some local services in Glossop. Stagecoach does run some services outside these areas:

Since December 2012, Stagecoach has operated services in the Wigan area, following the purchase of First Greater Manchester's Wigan operation. Services from Wigan depot mainly run in the Wigan and Leigh areas, whilst also serving Manchester and Salford on routes 32, 33 and X34 (the latter two being shared with First Greater Manchester), while route 540 runs to Bolton, which is also served by route 22 and Stagecoach Lancashire route 125. Route 113 is operated from both Stagecoach Manchester's Wigan depot and Stagecoach Lancashire's Chorley depot.

From March 2013, Stagecoach moved further into north Manchester by purchasing Bluebird.[14]


Stagecoach Manchester offer several night bus services in Manchester and Wigan every Friday and Saturday night. The services run every 30 minutes or every hour from 00:00 until 03:00 and the routes are mainly the same as the normal routes with some exceptions.

Stagecoach also operation night bus services in Wigan. The network is largely based on the main Wigan services with some running an amended route to its normal routes. Wigan's Nightbus network runs on Friday nights/Saturday mornings and Saturday nights/Sunday mornings. The services also operate on New Year's Eve with additional journeys during the evening between 19:00 and 23:00, along with journeys on Arriva North West's route 352 to Orrell and 362 to Standish and on Wigan Buses/Maytree Travel route 612 to Wrightington Hospital.[16]

See also


  • Celebrating 100 Years of Princess Road Manchester: Stagecoach April 2010[17][18]


External links

  • Stagecoach Manchester official website
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