#AYearOfBuses 192: Manchester – Hazel Grove
Today, it’s a big one. On day 192 of #AYearOfBuses, there could only be one winner.
A stalwart of Manchester’s bus scene, the 192 has a long and distinguished history, which began with horse-drawn trams at the Hazel Grove end of the route in 1889.
Fast forward over 130 years, and – along with the 42, another of Stagecoach Manchester’s bus routes – the 192 is one of the most frequent bus routes in Europe, with a bus on average every 3-5 minutes on the busiest sections of route heading into Manchester city centre.
The route itself runs out of Manchester, past Piccadilly Station towards Longsight and Levenshulme, then on to Stockport, Stepping Hill and Hazel Grove, where there’s a recently-built park & ride facility.
The heyday of ridiculousness on the 192 was reached in 2006, where local bus bandits UK North stepped in and flooded the 192 corridor with an additional 12 buses an hour. Stagecoach, as you won’t be surprised to hear, didn’t take this lying down, wheeling out their bargain-basement Magic Bus brand alongside the normal lineup, leading to a simply diabolical 24 buses an hour on the 192 alone. And that was just the timetable – who knew what the real figure actually was.
The insane number of buses fighting for space at stands lead to dangerous levels of congestion within the city, but the situation resolved itself when UK North were unceremoniously relieved of their operating licence in December 2006.