Today on #AYearOfBuses, we’re taking a look at one of two core bus routes linking Manchester with the Tameside town of Ashton.
Stagecoach Manchester’s 216 links Manchester city centre with Clayton, Droylsden and Ashton-under-Lyne, running along the Ashton New Road out of the city towards Tameside. It’s one of two direct routes (if you discount those in the ’23X’ series, which venture further) which connect Manchester with Ashton – the other being the 219, which takes the Old Road instead.
Although not technically a true ‘Magic Bus’ route, the 216 over the years has seen some interesting vehicle types wheeled out in order to fend off competition from other operators – including these monstrous ex-KMB Olympians.
Since 2013, the 216 has been the unfortunate competitor to Manchester’s booming Metrolink – the Ashton line follows almost exactly the same route as the bus between the two places – even sharing some on-street sections as they battle for custom along Ashton New Road.