The 343 has three different operators which conspires against regular passengers being able to purchase a single operator season ticket or day saver ticket of some description. Regular users may be best purchasing a multi-operator season ticket. Passengers travelling a longer distance along the 343 (i.e. Stalybridge to Mossley rather than Top Mossley to Bottom Mossley) may be better buying a day saver ticket if they use the bus on a once weekly basis.

For the purpose of this section, off-peak refers to any journey being made after 0930 hours on a standard weekday, and all-day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.  Purchasers of all System One County Cards and System One Bus Savers require a photocard. Applications must be made at the TfGM Travelshop in Ashton-under-Lyne, Hyde and Oldham bus stations, or at the railway station ticket offices at Stalybridge, Mossley, Newton, Ashton-under-Lyne and Greenfield. A passport size photo is needed.

For a single day’s travel:

  • JPT Travel day saver: if you are visiting any places along the 343 route on a Saturday daytime, JP’s day saver is worth considering.
  • FirstDay (£4.00): all First routes in Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. The best option for the Sunday and Bank Holiday journeys of the 343 route and most other buses around Mossley during then (including the 350, 353 and 354);
  • System One Bus Only day saver (£5.60; £5.00 off-peak) : offers travel on all buses throughout Greater Manchester including Stott’s Tours, JPT Travel and First Greater Manchester 343 routes;
  • System One Bus Only plus one day saver (£7.10) : offers travel on all buses for one adult and a child throughout Greater Manchester including Stott’s Tours, JPT Travel and First Greater Manchester 343 routes;
  • System One Bus Only group one day saver (£10.50) : offers travel on all buses for two adults and up to three children throughout Greater Manchester including Stott’s Tours, JP Travel and First Pioneer 343 routes;
  • System One Bus and Train day saver (£6.60): as above including any train throughout the Greater Manchester boundary;
  • System One Bus and Tram day saver (£6.70): all buses and all Metrolink trams throughout the Greater Manchester boundary;
  • System One Bus, Tram and Train day saver (£8.60): the freedom of Greater Manchester’s buses, trains and trams for a single day;
  • Greater Manchester Wayfarer (Adult: £11.00; Group: £21.00; Concession: £6.00): as above with the bonus of one day’s unlimited travel throughout the Peak District, parts of Cheshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire. The group Wayfarer permits travel for 2 adults and 2 children.

Concessionary Day Tickets:

  • System One Junior Day Saver (£2.80): all buses in Greater Manchester, at half the adult rate, for anyone 16 years old or less;
  • FirstDay Child (£2.00): all First Greater Manchester buses in Greater Manchester, at half the adult rate, for anyone 16 years old or less.

For regular passengers:

  • System One County Card (7 days: £34.30; Monthly: £107; Annual: £1,075): every train and bus throughout Greater Manchester for a week, a calendar month or a year;
  • System One Bus Saver (7 days: £17.00; 28 days: £59.40; Annual: £680.00): every 343 bus and several other buses throughout Greater Manchester;
  • FirstWeek (£13.00): every First Greater Manchester bus for seven days. Ideal if you catch the 350 as well as the Sunday, evening and Bank Holiday 343 journeys;
  • FirstMonth (£48.00): as above, though for one calendar month – available via First Greater Manchester website and TfGM Travelshops (photocard required) – please note this ticket cannot be bought on the bus;
  • FirstAnnual (£480.00): all First Greater Manchester services for a year – available via First Greater Manchester – payment made by Direct Debit mandate, 10 monthly payments of £48.

Concessionary tickets for regular passengers:

  • System One Junior Bus Saver (7 days: £9.95; 28 days: £35.75): every bus and all Yellow School Buses throughout Greater Manchester for a week;
  • System One Student Bus Saver/Young Persons’ Bus Saver (7 days: £12.70; 28 days: £44.00; Annual: £510.00): every 343 bus and several other buses throughout Greater Manchester for passengers aged 16 – 21 with a System One Young Persons’ photocard, weekly, monthly or yearly;

Details correct at the time of press. Passengers aged 11 – 16 years old old must produce an iGo card as well as their ticket to the driver on boarding.

Where to purchase your tickets:

Each of the System One day saver tickets can be bought on the bus. Countycards can be purchased at all staffed railway stations and at TfGM Travelshops. System One Buscards can only be purchased at TfGM Travelshops and at any shop with a PayPoint sign. Single operator tickets (such as the FirstWeek) are available for purchase on their own buses.

TfGM’s Wayfarer tickets can be purchased at staffed railway stations, TfGM Travelshops and train conductor-guards – if boarding from an unstaffed station, or outside ticket office opening hours. They can also be purchased from any shop with a PayPoint sign. All tickets can be purchased for use on the day of travel or up to three days in advance.

Important notes:

  • If you wish to purchase your ticket on the train whilst the ticket office is open, you will be unable to get the cheapest fare available. Conductors can only offer the full range of fares from their machines if you board from an unstaffed station, or a staffed station outside of the ticket office’s opening hours;
  • Consider purchasing a day saver ticket if you wish to make a bus journey greater than 2 miles. Most operators around the 343 route and surrounding area no longer offer return fares;
  • If you are planning to use the 343 route for the whole day, go for a multi-operator day saver ticket. It is cheaper than buying one for First routes and another for JPT Travel’s buses;
  • Please note that Stott’s Tours does not offer their own season tickets and day rovers. They will happily accept all System One bus passes, day rovers and TfGM’s Wayfarer tickets.

S.V., 20 February 2014.