X57 bus service: Stagecoach respond

by Iain Roberts on 7 September, 2017

X57 busFollowing complaints about Stagecoach scrapping the X57 bus service and replacing it with the 42B, which is slower and stops running earlier in the evening, here is Stagecoach’s response.

Thank you for raising the petition with us. To give you some background the X57 became service 42B in January 2017 and was no longer registered as limited stop into Manchester. At the same time Transport for Greater Manchester chose to withdraw the contract to operate the evening service as these journeys carried very few passengers.

Stagecoach has operated the route X57 for a number of years. The route runs commercially during the day – that is it receives no public money to operate and its costs of operation need to be covered by the revenue received from customers.

In the evenings, where fewer people travelling meant it was not viable to consider a commercially provided bus service then Transport for Greater Manchester funded journeys run under contract by Stagecoach.

The X57 route has failed to cover the costs of operation for some years. This is primarily down to too few people travelling on the route. This can be down to a number of factors including relatively high car ownership in the areas served and severe traffic congestion experienced along the route meaning the journey by bus is not competitive time wise compared to either driving or the train being two of the challenges.

Given the X57 was not covering the costs of operation, and had not done so for some time, we looked at options to protect the viability of the direct bus link from Cheadle to Manchester. As a consequence we merged the route with our existing 42 service meaning buses now potentially stop at all stops between Cheadle and Manchester.

We recognise that it means the journey time from Cheadle to Manchester is slower and potentially less attractive to some customers than before but given that we will never compete on journey times compared to other modes of transport without significant highways investment in bus priority measures then we believe that the 42B option was the best in securing the future of the bus service.


15 Responses

  1. G&B Murray says:

    Having just moved into the Cheadle Hulme area, we were so disappointed to learn that the bus 42B finishes so early as we were expecting to use this bus frequently

  2. Alan says:

    Sorry this is stagecoach, they do what they want and as they say they won’t run a service that they need to subsidise even though they’re both multi-millionaires (or perhaps that’s why…)

  3. janet mcleod says:

    Im just curious as to how people are supposed to commute to or from Manchester after 6.30pm in the evenings. Which is approximately the time that the last 42b leaves piccadilly. And thats at 5.30pm on a sunday. Theres no tram here, the train station is approx a mile away so what will be put in place for commuters?
    Janet Mc

    • Iain Roberts says:

      The problem with the current system is that no-one has to answer that question, Janet. Stagecoach is a private company and is there to make a profit. TfGM can subsidise routes but doesn’t do that so much. No-one has to ensure there’s a way for you to complete your journey, and that’s not good enough in a modern city.

  4. Jane says:

    It’s not very good that the only way to get into M/cr from Gatley after 6pm is either a taxi (At least £25) or the train station (which for some is over a mile away).

  5. Kevin says:

    The same old corporate response from organisations that really don’t give a monkeys as long as they make it profit. Providing a service is out of fashion these days as we all know. I wonder how much of their precious resources in highly paid jobs were devoted to the drawing up of their response statement. We can’t get a direct bus home from a night out in Manchester, that’s all we give a monkeys about!

  6. Jill Robertson says:

    Same old, Cheadle at the back of the queue and pretty much forgeten about … we’re going backwards here!!!

  7. Richard says:

    There’s train that runs from Manchester to Chester that runs quite late, which could serve this area if only they would re open the station at Cheadle.

  8. June Westley says:

    Will you Lib Dems work with other politicians to do something about this? Greater Manchester is wanting to reduce pollution and a frequent, reliable public transport service would be used more and could reduce jams and pollution. Current and past service was not good enough to use.
    The popularity of the trams shows the potential of a good service.
    It took me 30 minutes to drive to Parrs Wood from Cheadle on Wednesday at 5pm along with so many others.
    The lack of alternatives for a return journey is a disgrace and a public health issue . If a subsidy is needed, it should be made.

  9. Margaret Cummins says:

    We used to drive to Parrs Wood to catch the tram toManchester often, but in the past year it’s becoming impossible to get the car parked there, even though the car park is very large. Have been told that local office workers are using it. This isn’t fair as it prevents geniune commuters from using the tram. Don’t know what can be done!

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