#AYearOfBuses 196: Piccadilly – Manchester Airport

Manchester bus 196

We don’t often feature ‘lost’ bus routes here on #AYearOfBuses, but today we’re making an exception.

Manchester’s route 196 is – or was – one of those bus routes that are so ludicrous, it’s hard to believe anybody ever actually signed them off and said ‘yes, that’s a good idea, let’s do that’.

It went through several variations in its lifetime, but was perhaps at its most ridiculous when it was under the arm of Stagecoach, who ran it from Manchester’s Piccadilly bus station, along a long, winding, tedious route through Longsight, Burnage and Cheadle and on to Manchester Airport using Plaxton Beaver 2 bodied-Mercs.

By no means was the 196 ever advertised (to our knowledge) as a core route for actually getting to the airport – leave that to the 43 – but the fact that it went there must surely have confused at least a few tourists looking for their bus home in the city centre.


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