#AYearOfBuses 130: Macclesfield – Manchester

Arriva 130

One of Manchester and Cheshire’s longest and well-established cross-boundary bus routes is our focus today here on #AYearOfBuses – the 130.

Established in 1928 as a joint venture between Manchester Corporation and North Western Road Car, it previously ran from the centre of Manchester, through South Manchester and East Didsbury, and into Cheshire via Handforth, Wilmslow and Alderley Edge, finishing in Macclesfield.

It’s a splendid route – scenic, long, winding, and important for the communities it serves.

But there’s a problem.

In recent years, the 130 has suffered at the hands of crippling congestion and chronic mismanagement. Reductions in frequencies, a grim spell in the late 2000s where only clapped-out East Lancs-bodied step-entrance Darts were allocated, and finally, a last roll of the dice from Arriva by converting it into a ‘Sapphire’ route, only to perennially mis-allocate buses have all contributed to its recent demise.

Today, the 130 is a shadow of its former self. Instead of running all the way into Manchester, it now finishes at Parrs Wood, with an hourly frequency and no Sunday service, effectively eliminating any prospect of regular, paying customers.


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