Postponed route revision reinstated

After a gap of nearly two years, Carrbrook Village will be reconnected to the 343 route on a Monday to Friday basis. Following requests from residents forced to change at the Buckton Castle for Top Mossley and beyond, this will save them the joys of getting a 348 or S48 that will connect with the 343 itself. A further change to the route involves the addition of new links to Roaches and Hey Farm.

The new route will improve links with Micklehurst, Hey Farm, Roaches and Bottom Mossley for Carrbrook Village. In spite of this addition, there are some which think it is a change too far. The main concerns are the journey time between Micklehurst and Mossley railway station (by way of the Hey Farm and Roaches being 10 rather than 5 minutes for the two points) and the loss of Richmond Crescent from the route.

At present, both the 217 and 218 [Stagecoach in Manchester] routes serve the Richmond Crescent section of Huddersfield Road six days a week. Just to make matters more confusing, the 343 follows the 217/218 routes on Saturday, depriving Carrbrook Village of a direct route between Micklehurst and Bottom Mossley via Hey Farm, Friezland and Roaches. Perhaps it would have been easier to let the Saturday route fall in line with the Monday – Friday route, or at least have the same route seven days a week.

Instead of this fudge, a better way of serving Staley Road would be the reinstatement of the old 4 route (or the 344 to any younger readers). Though that’s unlikely, an alternative which they should have considered would be the rerouting of the 217/218 services along the route of the old 4/344 route between Dukinfield (Albion Hotel) and Mossley (Brookbottom).

Advantages:

  • New links to Hey Farm and Roaches better serving the new Mossley Hollins School site;
  • Carrbrook Village link reinstated;
  • Great for real ale lovers wishing to visit The Dysarts, Tollemache Arms and The Britannia Inn and walkers;
  • Greater scope for interchange with Oldham and Saddleworth journeys of the 350 route at Hey Farm end.

Disadvantages:

  • Longer route between Micklehurst and Bottom Mossley (especially so for Hyde and Dukinfield passengers wishing to travel to Mossley);
  • Route revision could be a little confusing for irregular or new users.

Prospects: Will it work, or will it not? The convoluted service between Carrbrook and Bottom Mossley may see its users turn to the 217/218 routes if they are in urgent need of a rail connection at Mossley station. Chances are, these same users may prefer to catch the evening 343 service which takes a more direct route. The link with Roaches from Top Mossley may be a boon for persons unable to walk to Roaches or Hey Farm.

I won’t be surprised if by the end of this year we shall see the Monday to Friday daytime 343s and 344 revert to the First Pioneer route, albeit with the Carrbrook Village link. One never knows.

S.V., 27 August 2010.