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Peter Hall

Sheffield to Manchester via Woodhead (bus service)

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In order to avoid too much thread drift away from the Sheffield to Manchester via Castleton topic thought it worthwhile to start a separate topic.   

 

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A daily service, operated solely by SJOC, ran until 31/12/69.  Chas Hall's book says that a result of the 1968 Transport Act was that it became jointly operated between STD and the NBC.  The NBC subsidiary involved was presumably North Western Road Car.  Certainly they were involved from 3/1/71 when the Manchester terminus was changed to Lower Mosely Street.  At some point North Western were replaced by Ribble Motor Services.  This may have been 4/3/72 when North Western Manchester area local services passed to SELNEC or 4/5/73 when the Manchester terminus was altered to Chorlton Street.  From 8/1/80 operation was solely by SYPTE until the service was withdrawn after operation on 25/10/86..  

My earliest recollections of the X48 in the mid 1970's were of it being jointly operated by South Yorkshire PTE and Ribble Motor Services. 

 

Some delving suggests the change from North Western Road Car to Ribble took place during 1973.  The May 1973 Sheffield Area Bus & Rail Timetable which reflects the change of Manchester terminus to Chorlton Street shows the X48 as a joint service with North Western Road Car.  The November 1973 though shows as a joint service with Ribble Motor Services.

An on line history of North Western Road Car states that from 4th March 1972 the company was purely a coach operator without any stage services at all but did retain a depot in Manchester.  It is presumed that the X48 was considered as a coach service due to its distance and limited stops. 

More delving needed as to what actually happened in 1973. .

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I remember in the 1950's going with my Uncle on that route to Tintwhisle in the Longdendale Valley . He was taking a Sunday School Anniversary service at the chapel there. Its was a great trip via Woodhead & the valleys beyond.

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The 1973 X48 timetable has Monday to Saturday departures from Manchester ay 07:45, 16:30 (Friday & Saturday only) and 18:30; returning from Sheffield at 09:45, 18:30 (Friday & Saturday and 20:30 which suggests the service on those days was solely operated by Ribble.

On Sundays departures where at 11:45, 18:30 and 20:30 from Manchester and 09:45, 18:30 and 20:30 from Sheffield suggested Sheffield Transport had two round trips and Ribble one.

Will need to do more checking but presume this was the arrangement until November 7th 1980 when Ribble withdrew as a result of the closure of their Manchester depot..  From then until the service was finally withdrawn on 'De-regulation eve' (25th October 1986) two round trips were operated by SYPTE.            

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Volume One of the book Ribble by T. B. Maud contains the following   ".... in July 1973 it was agreed that Ribble would take over the 'local' express services between Manchester and Bradford (X12) , Barnsley (X19) Sheffield (X48) and Mansfield"  Although no specific date is given by implication some time during the month of July is presumed as when Ribble replaced North Western Road Car..    

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