Changes to High Peak Bus Services 2013-03-12

Here, I am referring to the bus company named High Peak rather than the area since it has its share of bus operators too. While I am most interested in its Cheshire operations, there’s a lot of change coming in its Derbyshire hinterland too.

That it operates services other than cross-boundary ones into Cheshire does look a little surprising when you consider that it’s based in Dove Holes near Buxton and that winter weather often takes its toll on their operations. Still, they are continuing with their Knutsford town service 300 even after they are planning to mothball the service 27 between Macclesfield and Knutsford. That’s now going out to tender so it’ll be interesting how things look from next month. Around the same time, the 300 is becoming a fully commercial operation that leaves out the Queensway and Tabley Road parts of the route though GHA’s 289 between Northwich, Knutsford and Altrincham offers an alternative to the 300, which may explain the change. A shortened Macclesfield town service 1 still continues though that was to be withdrawn and the Macclesfield to Stockport routes 392 and 393 are under their custodianship too. After those, there’s the cross-boundary services that took Bowers, High Peak’s predecessor, into Cheshire in the first place and these connect Macclesfield with Buxton (58), Glossop (64) and New Mills (60), occasionally along with other places that include Disley (60) and Bakewell (58).

Bus services serving Ashbourne are seeing a lot of changes from the start of April. The 42 and 42A direct services to Buxton are a casualty though the 441 is a partial replacement. Otherwise, it’s the 442 that’s mainstay with a largely hourly service on all days of the week except Sunday when a lower frequency over the whole route is on offer.

Otherwise, there are a number of less frequent Monday to Saturday services fanning out from Ashbourne to serve Thorpe (101), Parwich (102) and Kirk Ireton (103). This reorganisation means that the 111 to Parwich no longer will operate after the end of March. High Peak also gain a Monday to Saturday evening journey from Ashbourne to Derby; the service number is 109.

After those, there just are timetable and route tweaks. The 389 New Mills town service is among these as are the 390 Shire Hill Hospital to Whitfield and 394 Glossop to Stepping Hill Hospital. Following cuts in Cheshire East, you’d be wishing to be wishing for this scale of adjustment again but it may be a while coming given the times in which we live.

Not so bad around here

With all the noise that there is about the closures of Heathrow and Gatwick due to the heavy snow that hit the south over the weekend, it is worth remembering that other parts are affected as well and that more snow hit the southwest and Wales today. For instance, Wales seems to be seeing disruption to its train services and MerseyRail is running a Sunday service tomorrow to ensure resilience (how’s that going to work with folk going to work and about their business?).

There may have been snow in the Manchester, Stockport and Macclesfield areas on Friday night but local buses and trains seem to be running well. The way in which we have been feeling the effects of what happened on Saturday are in the form of train cancellations and delays with Virgin faring worse than CrossCountry from what I could see. Macclesfield town bus services are being operated as are those to Crewe and Manchester. We may have to take care where we walk but that’s the extent of what the cold weather has done to us in the town.

A recent trip to Glossop confirms the same sort of conditions. Most buses seem to be running there too and trains seem not to be missing a beat. Good accumulations are there to be seen in the surrounding hills but any roads that I saw were clearer than the pavements by their side. Apart from greasy soft snow, the only real ice was to be found on a bridleway and that needed footwear with spikes for it to be crossed. Otherwise, busier routes could be negotiated though some needed care in order to do so.

Ireland hasn’t escaped the snow either with a heavy fall this evening having closed Dublin Airport to arrivals and departures until at least 23:00.The general Dublin area seems to have had quite a dump of the white stuff too, much as the southwest of the country did over the weekend. That has made road conditions tricky in usually mild parts such as the county of Limerick; the town of Newcastlewest is badly affected by ice due to the very low temperatures.

All in all, I could see folk in Britain and Ireland welcoming a wet Christmas if it took away the snow and ice that we currently have. With all the excitement of white Christmases in previous years, who’d have seen that coming about? After all, I suppose that it’s harder to enjoy a visual feast if you feel that your normal way of life is disrupted.