BakerBus Cheshire Route Changes 2013-03-14

BakerBus have been running bus services in Cheshire for longer than I have lived in the area. My first exposure to their offerings was the 27 between Macclesfield and Knutsford. Its hourly frequency is set to become a memory unless there is a change in fortunes at some point. The buses that they used over a decade ago were Iveco midibuses that often were standee only on leaving Alderley Park. Thankfully, larger vehicles replaced them and these were Wright Handibus bodied Dennis Darts that later developed an irritating habit of unreliability before government money gave us new Wright Cadet bodied DAF and LDV ones in their stead. However, BakerBus was to lose the Monday to Saturday 27 contract and the buses they had for running it a few years later to Bowers shortly after the latter came into Centrebus ownership.

That was far from the end of BakerBus’s involvement in Cheshire bus services even if peak only services 34 between Congleton and Wilmslow via Alderley Park and 26 between Macclesfield and Alderley Park were withdrawn around the same time. Sending peak 130 Macclesfield to Manchester around by Alderley Park was a partial replacement as was the extension of some service 27 journeys to Congleton, never a successful move by the appearances of things.

Some service 99 journeys Biddulph to Congleton were extended as far as Macclesfield that go around by Bosley crossroads and using the A54 and the A523. These (the 99/99A/99B/99C) are to change in mid April and no longer will serve Bromley Estate in Congleton from then on. Instead, it will be turn of their Beartown Bus branded service 90 to do the needful so this is a service change and not a loss, exactly the type of thing that we need to hear more often at the moment.

Speaking of Beartown Buses, these are the town service network and more of their number are set to change around the same time as the others above. 76, 91, 93 and 95 are the affected routes and I am aware as what the alterations will be at the time of writing. The same can be said for the X38 from Biddulph and Congleton to Crewe too.

All of the services that are to change are Monday to Saturday operations and Congleton only has D&G daytime service 38 between Macclesfield and Crewe passing through the town on Sundays. That’s not to say that BakerBus do not run Sunday services though since they recently won the contract to operate Macclesfield Sunday and bank holiday town services 5 and 6 and once had the contract for the 108 between Stockport, Macclesfield and Leek too before that went to D&G and the service got canned to save money in 2011.

Though they lost the 392 and 393 Macclesfield to Stockport routes to High Peak and their 391 got mothballed with the P1 (currently a GHA operation) replacing it as a Poynton local service, they still keep Monday to Saturday daytime service 11 between Macclesfield and Kerridge. With their other Cheshire operations such as service 9 around Crewe, this long established Biddulph operator is not set to leave us just yet if ever at all. Fortunes may ebb and flow but they have a good base in Staffordshire that must offer some opportunities for riding out any lulls. After all, it was not so long ago when they had contracts for Greater Manchester services so things do come and go.

3 thoughts on “BakerBus Cheshire Route Changes 2013-03-14

  1. The Bakerbus name was actually introduced after they started running Macclesfield-Knutsford. They still referred to themselves as Bakers Coaches until they acquired a few bus routes.

    The first bus of the day did Biddulph-Congleton-Macclesfield-Knutsford and the last two buses did Knutsford-Macclesfield-Congleton-Biddulph but that was actually just some common sense by Bakers who didn’t want to send buses between their Biddulph depot and Macclesfield bus station not in passenger service.

    • While I’m not sure they did it always, those extensions at the start and end of a day have a certain sense about them. One wonders why High Peak haven’t done something similar with the buses they use for the 300. I agree that Bakers didn’t have different names for their bus and coach operations in the beginning and coaches sometimes were used whenever they didn’t have a working bus for a service. They may not need to do that these days, though.

  2. I fully agree that High Peak should be using the bus off the 300 service for a daily return Macclesfield-Knutsford service. If anything this will make more sense to do that after April 1st, even though High Peak are to stop running the other 27 services, for a few reasons:

    1. The revised 300 service will be commercial and from a commercial point of view having long empty runs doesn’t make sense.
    2. On weekdays the time of such a return working would be something like 07:30 Macclesfield-Knutsford and 17:45 Macclesfield-Knutsford. In both directions they would be much better for people working in Knutsford than the current services on offer and not duplicate a GHA working so High Peak should be able to attract passengers to use them both ways even with just one daily return working.
    3. At weekends the time would be something like 08:00 Macclesfield-Knutsford and 16:45 Knutsford-Macclesfield. That probably wouldn’t attract many passengers to use High Peak in both directions but it would allow passengers wanting to get to Knutsford on Saturday to make an earlier start, which would be a useful addition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *