#AYearOfBuses 135: Manchester – Bury


There could only be one winner today on #AYearOfBuses – it’s Manchester’s long-established, former bendybus route 135.

In a rare masterstroke move from First Manchester in 1998/99, a fleet of ‘Gold service’ branded Volvo B10LA bendies were introduced on to the 135, boosting frequency, capacity, and supposedly heralding a new era for customer service. A busy straight run north of out the city centre through densely-populated Cheetham Hill, Whitefield and on to Bury, the 135 was the perfect territory for these articulated ‘bendy’ buses.

The Volvos were replaced, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, with a fleet of brand new articulated Scania N94UA Omnicitys, accompanied by hundreds of rigid Volvo B7RLEs for the city in 2005. Sadly, these were later withdrawn and replaced with bog-standard double deckers, ending artic operation in the city.

The 135 is one of the routes based at Cheetham Hill’s Queens Road depot, which was recently bought from First by the Go-Ahead Group – it’ll be one of the routes to pass to the new company, which will be rebranded as Go North West on 2 June 2019.


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