• 1824Drawing of John Greenwood's 1824 horse omnibus
  • John Greenwood starts a regular horse bus service from Pendleton, Salford to Market Street, Manchester, the first regular horse bus service in the UK (1st January).
  • 1830
  • First horse bus service between Manchester and Stockport.
  • Official opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway (15 September).
  • A horse bus service introduced by Henry Charles Lacy from the newly opened Liverpool and Manchester Railway terminus at Liverpool Road to Manchester’s Market Street.
  • 1832
  • Stage Coach Act in 1832 officially recognises that passengers are being set down or taken up, a distinct change from the accepted conditions of coach operation before this time.
  • 1840
  • 1840 Railway Regulation Act: railway safety and supervision for the first time.
  • 1847
  • 1847 Town Police Clauses Act comes into effect, which covers licensing of vehicles and drivers and a greater degree of control over the operation of buses and coaches.
  • 1850
  • 64 omnibuses are now running in Manchester, for which 387 horses are required.
  • 1851
  • John Greenwood, the founder of the original horse bus, dies and is succeeded by his son, John Greenwood Junior.
  • 1852
  • A new type of vehicle is introduced by a Mr. McEwan. It is a much larger, door-less double deck vehicle, drawn by three horses, and carrying 42 passengers.
  • 1856
  • First horse bus services commence in Rochdale.
  • 1860

The Five-Wheeled Omnibus - Pendleton to Manchester 1861-1866. Original on display in Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

  • 1861
  • Attempt made to introduce a form of rail traction, using Haworth’s Patent Perambulating Principle, in Salford (August). Operation is not a success.
  • 1865
  • Manchester Carriage Company is formed to operate horse buses, incorporating John Greenwood’s company (1 March).
  • 1870

A Manchester Carriage Company horse bus in Eccles town centre

  • 1870
  • 1870 Tramways Act: local authorities can construct tramways, but not operate them - the tracks have to be leased to private companies for 21 years.
  • The corporations of both Manchester and Salford obtain Tramways Orders under the 1870 Tramways Act, which allows them to construct and lease, but not operate, tramways within their respective districts.
  • First horse bus service commences between Rochdale and Oldham (25 December).
  • 1874
  • Horse bus service begins between Stockport and Hazel Grove.
  • 1877
  • Manchester Suburban Tramways Company starts operation of horse trams under the title of Manchester & Salford Tramway Company between Bury New Road and Deansgate (17 May), the first tramway in Greater Manchester.
  • Salford Corporation constructs several miles of horse tramway line and leases to Messrs Busby and Turton, later to Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company (MCTC).
  • 1878
  • Manchester Suburban Tramways Company runs horse trams to to Hollinwood.
  • 1880
  • First horse tram runs into Stockport from Manchester (May).
  • Wigan and District Tramways Company starts first horse tramway in Wigan (31 July).
  • First horse trams run in Bolton by Edmund Holden and Company.
  • Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company (MCTC) incorporated (merger between the Manchester Suburban Tramways Company and the Manchester Carriage Company).
  • 1881
  • Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company operates horse trams from Manchester to Stalybridge via Ashton-under-Lyne (June) for the first time.
  • 1883
  • First steam tram operates in Wigan by the Wigan and District Tramways Company.
  • The Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company opens its first section of route in Rochdale (7 March) and in Bury (12 March).

Steam tram seen in Hindley, at the junction of Market Street, Bridge Street and Ladies Lane (St John's Church is on the left)

  • 1887
  • The Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company goes bankrupt.
  • 1888
  • The Manchester, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company is reformed dropping “Manchester” from its title.
  • 1889
  • Stockport to Hazel Grove tramway opened, by the Stockport and Hazel Grove Carriage and Tramway Company Limited (April).
  • 1890

This is Manchester Piccadilly with the original Manchester Royal Infirmary still occupying the site of Piccadilly Gardens. The original Lewis’s Department Store is in the background.

  • 1891
  • Wigan and District Tramways Company is sold to a Wigan Councillor (24 September).
  • 1894
  • Manchester Ship Canal opens (1 January)
  • 1895
  • Manchester Corporation adopts a resolution to take over the tramways and operate them as an electric system
  • 1896
  • Standing Order at the House of Commons which had prevented local authorities from operating their tramways is revoked.
  • Light Railways Act 1896 which allows councils to construct tramways.
  • 1897
  • The Trafford Park Estates Company lays down a tramway to be operated by the British Gas Traction Company.
  • 1898
  • A conference in Manchester decides larger local authorities should operate their own tramways and those of the smaller dependent authorities.
  • The Rochdale Corporation Tramways Department is created.
  • The Wigan Corporation Act allows Wigan Corporation to construct and operate additional tramways in Wigan (28 July).
  • 1899
  • First electric tramway in Greater Manchester opens: Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Tramway Company (owned by British Electric Traction Company) serving Hathershaw, Ashton-under-Lyne, Denton and Hyde (12 June).
  • Bolton and Wigan corporations are the first to take on municipal ownership of tramways by taking over the lines operated by E. Holden & Company (June).
  • The Manchester Corporation Tramways Act allows Manchester to lease tramways in adjoining districts so they can be operated as one system.
  • The Trafford Park Estates Company takes over operation of the gas trams in Trafford Park (3rd November).
  • First electric tramway runs in Bolton (December).

State of the art transport, 1890 style!

  • 1900

Museum horse bus L2 in service, Cheadle

  • 1900
  • First electric tram service in Bolton, run by Bolton Corporation (1 January).
  • Last horse tram runs in Bolton (2 January).
  • Bolton Corporation opens Shiffnall Street electric tram depot (13 April).
  • The South Lancashire Tramways Company (6 August) and the South Lancashire Electric Traction and Power Company (SLT) formed (November) which serve the smaller towns and communities from its base at Atherton.
  • Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company reaches its maximum extent: 140 route miles, 515 trams, 5,244 horses, 19 depots.
  • Bolton Corporation introduces its route letter system where the letters take the destination into account such as D for Dunscar – the first in the north west to attempt route identification.
  • First electric tram route is operated by Oldham Corporation, to Chadderton (15 December).
  • 1901
  • Wigan Corporation starts an electric tram service, using narrow gauge tracks (27 January).
  • Manchester Corporation opens Queens Road Tram Depot and its first electric tram service on 7th June, operating between Albert Square and Cheetham Hill. It uses Bell Punch tickets and machines.
  • Manchester Corporation appoints a General Manager with an annual salary of £400.
  • A dispute between Manchester and Salford corporations results in passengers having to change trams in the middle of Blackfriars Bridge.
  • Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board (SHMD) created.
  • First electric tram services run by Stockport Corporation commence (26 August).
  • First Salford Corporation electric tram runs and Frederick Road depot opens (20 November).
  • 1902
  • Rochdale Corporation starts its first electric tram service, to Bamford (22 May).
  • Farnworth UDC takes over operation of electric trams within its borough (2 June).
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation operates its first electric trams (August).
  • SLT trials electric trams in Leigh (25 September).
  • SLT starts operating electric trams (20 October).
  • Wigan Corporation purchases the Wigan and District Tramways Company (30 September) and work starts on the electrification of steam tram routes (October).
  • 1903
  • Last horse trams are operated by Salford Corporation (March).
  • Electrification of Manchester's tramway system now completed and the last horse tram operates in Manchester (31 March) but they continue to run between the City boundary and Barton Road, Stretford until 12th April.
  • Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company goes into liquidation (31 March), assets passing to various corporations at a cost of £335,000 (May).
  • Bury Corporation operates electric trams for the first time, to Jericho (3 June).
  • Electric trams start running in Trafford Park (14 July).
  • Steam tramways in Bury, Rochdale and Oldham are taken over by the respective corporations.
  • Manchester Corporation’s Hyde Road Car Shed with accommodation for 265 tramcars opens.
  • Manchester Corporation Social and Athletic Society formed for employees and weekly working hours reduced to 54.
  • Manchester Corporation introduces closed top double deck tramcars.
  • Salford Corporation trams begin to run down Deansgate, Manchester.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation takes over, rebuilds and operates electric trams on the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company routes in Ashton (October).
  • Ramsbottom Tramways Order confirmed, but high costs prevent the building of any tramway system.

Manchester Corporation's Queens Road Tram Depot

  • 1904
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation’s trams start running into Manchester (February).
  • Bury Corporation takes possession of its portion of the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company operations (29 February).
  • Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Tramways and Electricity Board (SHMD) commences operation of electric trams (May).
  • The Glossop Urban District Supply Company starts to operate trams.
  • Sterling steam omnibus introduced by Bolton Corporation (September).
  • Bolton Corporation experiments with its first motor buses (5 September), but they are soon withdrawn.
  • Heywood, Oldham and Rochdale corporations take possession of their portions of the Bury, Rochdale and Oldham Steam Tramways Company (13 October).
  • Stockport Corporation takes over the Stockport and Hazel Grove Carriage and Tramway Company Limited routes.
  • 1905
  • The last steam tram in Greater Manchester is operated by Rochdale Corporation (8 May).
  • Wigan Corporation tramway offices open (3 June).
  • Manchester Corporation starts delivering parcels.
  • The Trafford Park Estates Company Electric Tramway is taken over by the corporations of Manchester and Salford.
  • Manchester Corporation is still operating horse buses in south Manchester from Palatine Road to Cheadle and Northenden, and Hulme to Chorlton-cum-Hardy.
  • Manchester Corporation’s Hyde Road Car Works opens for the construction and repair of tramcar bodies.
  • Stockport Corporation converts the former routes of the Stockport and Hazel Grove Carriage and Tramways Company to electric traction.
  • Heywood Corporation Tramways operates its last steam tram (20 September).
  • Lancashire United Tramways Limited (LUT) is formed in order to acquire the SLT companies (29 December).
  • 1906
  • Manchester Corporation first uses motor buses to replace the last remaining horse buses (February).
  • Farnworth UDC’s tram system is leased to SLT (1 April).
  • SLT starts trials running motor buses in Leigh.
  • LUT attempts motor bus operation with three buses which only run for three months.
  • Bolton Corporation opens its tramway offices on Bradshawgate (December).
  • 1907
  • Manchester commences joint operation with Oldham and Ashton corporations.
  • SLT opens its tram depot at Swinton (14 June).
  • 1908
  • The last gas trams are operated by Trafford Park Estates Company (1 May).
  • Frank Clayton introduces the first motor buses in Stockport. The service carries on until 1912.

Traffic-free Piccadilly, looking towards London Road in Manchester

  • 1909
  • Bolton Corporation lays the corner stone of the new Bridgeman Street tram depot (7 April).
  • Bolton Corporation and SLT introduce through running of electric tram services (14 June).
  • Princess Road tram depot opens for Manchester Corporation (October).
  • 1910

Pendleton Church, Salford

  • 1910
  • Sickness payment scheme for Manchester Corporation’s employees introduced.
  • Free travel for blind people introduced by Bolton Corporation.
  • 1911
  • Experiments with motor bus operation are abandoned by Bolton Corporation.
  • Bolton Corporation starts the construction of Carlton Street Works (20 December).

LUT’s Atherton Works

  • 1913
  • The first trolleybus service in Greater Manchester starts, operated by Stockport Corporation, between St Peter’s Square in Stockport and Offerton (10 March).
  • All-night tram services commence in Manchester.
  • First trolleybuses operated by Ramsbottom UDC (14 August).
  • British Electric Traction Company (BET), through its subsidiary British Automobile Traction Company (BAT) starts to develop a network of routes in the north west, based around Macclesfield.
  • British Automobile Traction starts its Mid Cheshire Bus Company, operating motor buses in Urmston and surrounding areas.
  • First motor bus service, to Coppice, by Oldham Corporation.

An early Manchester Corporation motor bus

  • 1914
  • Total passengers carried annually by Manchester Corporation exceeds 200 million for the first time.
  • Great Britain declares war on Germany as part of the First World War (4 August) - effectively preventing further tramway expansion.
  • War Office requisitions Manchester Corporation’s eight motor buses for military purposes. Horse omnibuses reinstated in substitution (August).
  • LUT’s second attempt at motor bus operation using three charabancs, which are quickly requisitioned by the War Office.

Salford Corporation’s Frederick Road Tram Depot, before the construction of the entrance arch

  • 1915
  • Conductresses (female conductors) are employed by Manchester Corporation for the first time due to the shortage of staff because of the First World War.
  • Holt Brothers of Rochdale commences motor coach operation.
  • 1918
  • 2,917 Manchester Corporation employees join H.M. Forces in the First World War (of which over 300 lost their lives).
  • First World War ends (11 November).
  • Backlog of maintenance and wartime neglect of the tramways has to be remedied.
  • 1919
  • Manchester Corporation’s weekly working hours for employees reduced to 48.
  • Motor buses withdrawn by Oldham Corporation.
  • Last trolleybuses are operated by Stockport Corporation, replaced by motor buses.
  • LUT’s third and successful attempt at motor bus operation, between Lowton and Newton-le-Willows.
  • Ribble Motor Services commences bus services.
  • Wigan Corporation introduces experimental motor bus services (October).
  • 1920

This is Salford Corporation's Frederick Road Garage showing the ever growing new fleet of buses

  • 1920
  • First Salford Corporation motor bus service (July).
  • Royal Assent given to allow Leigh Corporation to operate buses (4 August).
  • Leigh Corporation starts its first motor bus service, garaged in the fire station originally (November).
  • The British Automobile Traction Company (BAT) starts operating services in Buxton and Stockport, under the name “British”.
  • A Mayne & Son starts operating bus services.
  • 1921
  • Superannuation scheme commences for Manchester Corporation’s employees.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation takes over the Oldham, Ashton and Hyde tramway operations.
  • First Wigan Corporation motor bus service commences.
  • SHMD takes over its section of the Oldham, Ashton and Hyde Tramway Company’s operations allowing through services between Manchester and Hyde.
  • 1922
  • First one-man operated motor buses introduced by Manchester Corporation between Chorlton and Longford Park.
  • Wigan Corporation discontinues its experimental motor bus services (15 October).
  • Manchester Corporation extends Princess Road tram depot to increase capacity.
  • 1923
  • Motor bus services introduced to act as feeder services to tramway systems in Greater Manchester.
  • Railway Grouping into the ‘Big Four’ – local services are now provided by the newly formed London, Midland and Scottish Railway.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation’s first experimental motor bus service begins, to Smallshaw Lane (February).
  • Bolton Corporation resumes motor bus services.
  • North Western Road Car Company incorporated, owned by Thomas Tilling Limited and BAT (23 April).
  • Ramsbottom Corporation introduces its first motor bus services (August) between Edenfield and Rawtenstall Station.
  • Wigan Corporation temporarily operates motor bus services.
  • 1924
  • Stockport Corporation opens new tram depot on Heaton Lane (January).
  • Total passengers carried annually by Manchester Corporation exceeds 300 million for the first time.
  • Last tramway extension by Bolton Corporation opens.
  • Motor buses reintroduced by Oldham Corporation.
  • North Western’s head office moves from Macclesfield to Charles Street, Stockport and it starts bus operations in Oldham.
  • Ribble applies to operate bus services in Ramsbottom.
  • Work starts on Bolton Corporation’s Breightmet Street Garage (October).
  • North Western takes over Mid Cheshire Motor Bus Company (November).
  • Wigan Corporation resumes motor bus services (30 November).

Busy shopping street Deansgate in Manchester, showing Manchester and Salford corporation trams

  • 1925
  • Middleton Electric Traction Company acquired by Middleton, Rochdale and Oldham corporations - Middleton leases its routes to Manchester Corporation for operation.
  • Wigan Corporation starts operating trolleybuses (7 May).
  • First trolleybus service operates between Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham by Oldham and Ashton corporations, soon withdrawn and replaced by trams on the Hathershaw to Oldham section (August).
  • First motor buses operated by Bury Corporation, on the Walshaw service (18 September).
  • First SHMD motor bus service begins.
  • 1926
  • First motor buses introduced by Rochdale Corporation, to Deeplish (17 March).
  • Parrs Wood garage, with accommodation for 50 motor buses, opened by Manchester Corporation - its first purpose built bus garage.
  • Public transport is paralysed by the General Strike.
  • Lancashire United Tramways Limited becomes Lancashire United Transport and Power Company Limited.
  • Last tramway extension by Oldham Corporation, to Middleton.
  • North Western opens its new central workshops at Charles Street, Stockport.
  • 1927
  • First express cross-city joint bus services introduced to compete with private operators (April).
  • First pooling arrangements of buses between Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall corporations to allow a coordinated service between the three operators.
  • Last tramway extension by Wigan Corporation.
  • SLT extends Hindley tram depot at Platt Bridge.
  • Glossop Corporation’s tramway system is abandoned.
  • Holt Brothers of Rochdale now operates Yelloway long distance motor coach services
  • 1928
  • Manchester Corporation opens Birchfields Road Tram Depot (24 July) and extends Hyde Road Car Works.
  • Manchester Corporation converts its buses from solid to pneumatic tyres.
  • Top covers are fitted to the upper decks of Manchester Corporation’s buses.
  • On Manchester Corporation’s all-night services, buses substitute for tramcars on some routes.
  • Manchester Corporation opens the first part of the new Queens Road bus garage (now part of the Museum of Transport).
  • Decision made by Oldham Corporation to abandon its tramways.
  • First tram route abandoned by Wigan Corporation and converted to motor bus operation.
  • North Western Road Car Company and Ribble Motor Services become major shareholders in Omnibus Stations Limited, resulting in the construction of Lower Mosley Street Bus Station.
  • Henry Mattinson (General Manager of Manchester Corporation Tramways Department) and Ernest Tilly are granted a patent for a ticket machine produced by Brecknell Munro and Rogers Ltd (September). The machine is trialled, but it is not successful.
  • LUT opens its Atherton bus garage extension and workshops (11 October).
  • R Bullock starts operating bus services.
  • Salford Corporation’s transport offices are destroyed by fire and administration is moved to its Frederick Road Depot.
  • 1929
  • Manchester Corporation tramway system itself reaches its maximum of 123 miles of route (292 track miles), employing 953 trams, making it the third largest system in the country. Only London and Birmingham are bigger. Decision made not to develop tramways further.
  • Royal Assent given to SLT Act, allowing it to run trolleybuses and buses (10 May) South Lancashire Tramways Company becomes the South Lancashire Transport Company.
  • Second Salford Corporation garage opens at Weaste (October).
  • Bolton Corporation’s Crook Street Garage opens (October).
  • 1930

A typical busy day in Manchester in the 1930s: both bus and tram head up Market Street towards Piccadilly

  • 1930
  • The Road Traffic Act introduces licensing systems for services, vehicles, drivers and conductors.
  • Manchester Corporation’s 53 tram service is converted to operation by double-deck buses (6 April). This is the first main tramway track to be abandoned.
  • Manchester Corporation decides to adopt diesel engines rather than petrol engines for buses.
  • Manchester Corporation opens Princess Road bus garage with accommodation for 60 buses (15 April).
  • SLT introduces first trolleybus route (29 July).
  • London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and London North Eastern Railway (LNER) acquire half the shares in North Western Road Car Company.
  • First tramway route abandoned by Rochdale Corporation, to Littleborough (October).
  • North Western opens Altrincham Bus Station.
  • Rochdale Corporation makes the decision to convert tram routes to buses.
  • Leigh Corporation’s Holden Road garage opens and due to its height, low height 13’6” high buses have to be used (13 November).
  • JR Tognarelli (operator of express services from Bolton to Manchester) taken over by Bolton, Manchester, Oldham and Salford corporations and LUT (December).
  • 1931
  • First part of Parker Street bus station opened in Manchester city centre (Piccadilly).
  • Last trams run by Wigan Corporation (28 March).
  • Trolleybuses withdrawn by Ramsbottom UDC (31 March).
  • Cheadle to Gatley tram service abandoned – the first withdrawal by Stockport Corporation.
  • Options considered regarding the formation of a joint transport board for Greater Manchester. Report published August 1933, but nothing comes of the proposals.
  • Trolleybuses withdrawn by Wigan Corporation (31 October).
  • Bury and Rochdale corporations adopt the diesel engine for buses.
  • 1932
  • Cheap-travel day tickets are introduced by Manchester Corporation.
  • Manchester Corporation’s Parrs Wood Garage extension opens.
  • First diesel buses operated by Wigan Corporation.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation Tramways becomes Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation Passenger Transport Department, one of the last to retain tramways in its name (April).
  • Holt Brothers of Rochdale becomes Yelloway Motor Services Limited (April).
  • Stockport Corporation opens Heaton Lane bus garage (28 July).
  • Wigan Corporation introduces its first diesel engined buses (1 October).
  • Rochdale Corporation runs its last electric tram, the last in Rochdale (10 November).
  • 1933
  • Decision taken by Bury Corporation to abandon its tramway system (March).
  • South Lancashire Transport (SLT) starts trolleybus operation on the Bolton to Leigh service.
  • London Passenger Transport Board takes over all bus, trolleybus, tram and underground railway operations – and is watched closely by local operators.
  • Salford Corporation introduces TIM ticket machines.
  • Orr’s Motor Services of Little Lever purchased by Bolton, Salford and Bury corporations (25 June).
  • SLT runs its last tram (16 December).
  • 1934
  • Trafford Park Estates hands over its tramway operations to Manchester, Salford and Stretford corporations along with the power to operate other forms of transport in Trafford Park.
  • Manchester’s Parker Street bus station is extended.
  • First double deck buses are operated by Stockport Corporation.

Buses being washed in Manchester Corporation's Queens Road Bus Garage (now the Lower Hall of the Museum of Transport, 1930s

  • 1935
  • 38 miles of tramway have now been abandoned by Manchester Corporation.
  • Manchester Corporation’s Queen's Road bus garage extended further for motor bus operation (part of the Museum of Transport).
  • SHMD applies for powers to operate trolleybuses but Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester corporations run the services.
  • 1936
  • First large double deck 6 wheel trolleybus introduced by Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation.
  • Four new trolleybuses, operated by SLT but owned by Bolton Corporation, go into service to replace the remaining Bolton Corporation trams on the Bolton to Leigh service between Bolton and Four Lane Ends (29 March).
  • Leigh, Manchester and Salford corporations now use 'TIM' ticket machines.
  • 1937
  • Salford Corporation opens Victoria Bus Station (December).
  • 1938
  • Rochdale Road trolleybus depot, with accommodation for 115 vehicles, opened by Manchester Corporation and its trolleybus system opens (1 March).
  • Last trams operated by Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation on the Manchester to Ashton service (1 March). New trolleybus service starts serving Manchester, Ashton and Stalybridge.
  • Manchester Ringway Airport opens (25 June).
  • The trolleybus service from Hathershaw to Ashton-under-Lyne withdrawn by Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation and converted to motor bus operation.
  • Oldham Corporation opens its new Central Omnibus Garage at Mumps.
  • Manchester Corporation converts its Queens Road Depot to a bus garage.
  • 1939
  • Manchester Corporation decides to abandon its remaining tramway system (February).
  • Manchester Corporation’s Princess Road tram depot is converted to a bus garage.
  • Second World War begins on 3rd September.
  • Public transport used to evacuate children to "safe" areas (September).
  • All tramway abandonment plans in Greater Manchester put on hold.
  • Only one Oldham Corporation tram route remained: Waterhead to Manchester (a joint service between Oldham and Manchester corporations).
  • During the Second World War, Bury reintroduces trams to part of the Whitefield service.

Newly delivered SLT trolleybus, seen at Atherton Works

  • 1940
  • Manchester Blitz results in public transport services being unable to enter the city centre due to severe bomb damage (December).
  • 1941
  • Manchester’s Parrs Wood garage taken over by Ministry of Aircraft Production for use as a munitions factory.
  • 90 motor buses loaned by Manchester Corporation to London Passenger Transport Board and 182 to other undertakings for the war period. Bolton Corporation loans 24 and North Western also loan buses to London.
  • Manchester Corporation’s trolleybus network is extended to serve Moston and the A.V. Roe munitions factory instead of being used on the Hyde route.

Conductress undergoing training in preparation for working on her own

  • 1942
  • A portion of Manchester Corporation’s Northenden bus garage is taken over by the Ministry of Aircraft Production.
  • Sites are used for the open-air parking of buses as a wartime measure to prevent the risk of damage to buses as a result of bombing of garages.
  • Tilling and BAT arrangement is discontinued. North Western passes to BAT control in exchange for Tilling taking on Crosville.
  • Bolton Corporation scraps Bell Punch system and introduces TIM ticket machines.
  • 1944
  • Number of passengers carried annually by Manchester Corporation exceeds 400 million for the first time.
  • The Yelloway Motor Services Rochdale to Manchester route is taken over by Manchester, Oldham and Rochdale corporations.
  • First utility trolleybuses are obtained by Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation.
  • Last tram to run over SLT tracks, operated by Bolton Corporation on the Walkden service (13 November).
  • 1945
  • The Second World War ends in Europe on 8 May (VE Day) and in Japan on 15 August (VJ Day).
  • By the end of the War, 167 women cleaners and mechanics have been employed by Manchester Corporation.
  • 1,591 conductresses are given notice of dismissal by Manchester Corporation in order for male employees returning from war service to resume duties.
  • During the War, of the 2,372 employees (including 40 women) who had enlisted in H.M. Forces, 841 had lost their lives.
  • Replacement of the remaining tramways recommences.
  • Last SHMD trams run in service (May).

LUT buses in Greengate, Salford

  • 1946
  • Northenden Garage returned to Manchester Corporation by the Ministry of Aircraft Production.
  • Oldham Corporation’s last tram runs (3 August).
  • Last conductress works on a Manchester Corporation service (10 November).

Football crowds wait for buses in Manchester Piccadilly on a cleared bomb site, now the location of Piccadilly Plaza

  • 1947
  • Transport Act 1947: nationalisation of railways and London Passenger Transport Board.
  • 8 ft. wide buses first put into service.
  • Weekly working hours reduced to 44 by Manchester Corporation.
  • Bolton Corporation’s last tram runs (29 March).
  • Last Salford Corporation tram runs (31 March).
  • Stockport Corporation resumes tramway abandonment.
  • 1948
  • Transport Act 1947 is implemented: railways are nationalised (January).
  • Through the Transport Act 1947, North Western is now part owned by the British Transport Commission through its LMS and LNER connections.
  • Manchester Corporation installs a radio telephone service to provide communication with mobile units engaged on traffic control and emergency repairs.
  • Electricity generation is nationalised (1 April).
  • Bolton Corporation’s Howell Croft South Bus Station opens (July).
  • A Salford bus along with some from other operators carries passengers in Denmark as part of the British Exhibition.
  • Manchester Corporation first trials an 'Ultimate' ticket machine (11 August)
  • Wigan Corporation abandons Bell Punch tickets.
  • Lancashire United Transport and Power Company becomes Lancashire United Transport (25 November). Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Transport and Electricity Board becomes Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield Transport Board.
  • 1949
  • Operation of Manchester Corporation's last tram (10 January).
  • Bury Corporation runs its last tram (13 February).
  • Record number of passengers carried by Manchester Corporation: 492,417,219.
  • Manchester Corporation introduces ‘Ultimate’ ticket machines.

Drivers and conductors of the last four Manchester Corporation trams, seen in Birchfields Road Depot (10 January 1949)

  • 1950

Manchester Piccadilly looking towards Market Street as evening rush hour starts

  • 1950
  • Last extension to Manchester Corporation’s trolleybus system.
  • Manchester Corporation introduces exterior advertising on its buses for the first time to raise revenue.
  • Ramsbottom UDC pioneers Leyland’s first underfloor buses, taking four out of the 12 vehicles made.
  • Wigan Corporation introduces its first highbridge double deck buses.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation introduces 'Ultimate' ticket machines (31 May).
  • Oldham Corporation introduces 'Ultimate' ticket machines (4 October).
  • Leigh Corporation trials two 'Ultimate' ticket machines for one month (16 November).
  • 1951
  • Last Stockport Corporation tram operates, the last tram service in Greater Manchester (25 August).
  • Mechanical bus washing machines are installed for the first time.
  • A Mayne & Son introduces 'Ultimate' ticket machines (14 September).
  • Manchester Corporation stops using Bell Punch tickets.
  • 1953
  • The first of Manchester Corporation’s trolleybus routes is withdrawn.
  • Manchester Corporation introduces a new fleet of Airport buses and introduces City Tours.
  • Coronation celebrations by organised tours and decorated vehicles.
  • SHMD begins trials of 'Ultimate' ticket machines (14 May).
  • Oldham Corporation is one of the first to trial the new 6 barrel 'Ultimate' ticket machines (8 June) and transfers a batch of older models to SHMD (23 July).
  • Salford Corporation phases out its Bell Punch ticket machines.
  • 1954
  • Staff shortages create problems for public transport.
  • Link up of certain Manchester and Salford corporation services to reintroduce cross-city services.
  • Bolton Corporation introduces the first one-man operated bus on the Affetside service (January).
  • Rochdale Corporation introduces 'Ultimate' ticket machines (31 August).

SLT trolleybus at Four Lane Ends, between Bolton and Atherton

  • 1955
  • Use of fibreglass for vehicle wings and panels to reduce accident damage for the first time.
  • Manchester Corporation withdraws Bell Punch ticket machines.
  • 1956
  • Suez crisis and consequent fuel rationing. Extra trolleybuses run, greater demand for public transport.
  • First trolleybus route converted to buses by SLT (11 November).
  • British Railways introduces a frequent diesel service into Manchester from Ramsbottom, causing a fall in bus passenger numbers.
  • Oldham Corporation introduces 'Setright' ticket machines.
  • 1958
  • New bus station at Chorlton Street opened by Manchester Corporation.
  • Last South Lancashire Transport Company (SLT) trolleybus runs (31 August). SLT is closed and is incorporated into LUT (1 September). Buses replace the trolleybuses and are operated by Bolton and Leigh corporations and LUT.
  • Traffic flow around Piccadilly area in Manchester revised, causing large rearrangement of bus stopping places.
  • Leigh Corporation becomes the first undertaking to operate the new Dennis Loline type of bus (September).
  • Manchester Corporation introduces spray painting of its buses instead of hand painting, for the first time.
  • Official opening of the new Piccadilly Bus Station, by Manchester Corporation (4th December).
  • Wigan Corporation extends its motorbus garage (December).

Kay Gardens in Bury, showing the old Market Hall in the background with newly delivered 216 from Bury Corporation

  • 1960

Typical 1960s street scene showing a municipal bus (SHMD) and terraced houses in the days before traffic congestion becomes a major problem

  • 1960
  • The first rear engined double deck Leyland Atlantean buses enter service for Manchester Corporation.
  • SHMD opens Hyde Bus Station (1 July).
  • Manchester Corporation introduces Setright ticket machines.
  • 1961
  • Manchester Corporation introduces the City Circle service linking key areas of the city centre – it uses one-man operated buses (20th June).
  • A new 'Creed' ticket machine is developed. It records ticket sales by punching holes into a paper tape. Data from the tape is 'read' by a device which automatically prints ticket sale totals and statistics.
  • 1962
  • Transport Act 1962: reorganisation of nationalised transport undertakings - creation of the British Railways Board (1 August).
  • Salford Corporation trials its first rear-engined buses.
  • Bury, Manchester and Oldham corporations trial new 'Creed' ticket machines.
  • 1963
  • Manchester Corporation trials a London Transport Routemaster (RM 1414) in service, operating from Parrs Wood Garage for one month (February)
  • The new Manchester Corporation head office opens on Devonshire Street North by the Minister of Transport – it replaces 55 Piccadilly in Manchester, the head office since tramways days (22nd March).
  • The Reshaping of British Railways (Beeching Report) is published which proposes drastic cuts to Greater Manchester’s railway network (27 March).
  • Bolton and Bury corporations introduce rear-engined buses for the first time.
  • 1964
  • Bury Corporation tries two Setright ticket machines.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne Corporation opens its central bus station (6 November).

North Western works buses in 1962 getting ready to take people home

  • 1965
  • Manchester Corporation introduces concessionary fares for elderly people for the first time (2nd May).
  • Manchester Corporation withdraws its City Circle service (17th September).
  • Automated passenger operated ticket machines introduced by Manchester Corporation, known as "Minimax" (18th October).
  • 1966
  • The first White Paper proposes the establishment of multi-purpose conurbation authorities to have complete control of transport policy in their designated areas (July).
  • Manchester Corporation decides that one-man buses should be introduced throughout its system (3 August).
  • SHMD starts to operate its buses along former trolleybus routes.
  • A feasibility report is prepared, considering a rapid transit system for Manchester.
  • Manchester Corporation withdraws TIM and ‘Ultimate’ ticket machines.
  • Bury Corporation converts to Setright ticket machines.
  • Last trolleybuses run in Greater Manchester, operated by Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester corporations (31 December).
  • 1967
  • Manchester Corporation rolls out a simplified fare structure to facilitate the introduction of one-man operated buses to save time now the driver was handling fares instead of a conductor (1st July).
  • The first one-man double deck bus service is started by Manchester Corporation (14 August).
  • The White Paper “Public Transport and Traffic” proposes the creation of a Passenger Transport Authority for South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire (which now forms most of Greater Manchester) which would take complete control for all bus and rail services in the conurbation (December).
  • 1968
  • A new design of bus for Manchester City Transport is introduced, known as the Mancunian (1st April).
  • BET sells out to the Transport Holding Company and North Western Road Car Company becomes part of the nationalised bus fleet.
  • Experiments commence by Manchester Corporation with "Johnson" fareboxes where no tickets are issued, to try to speed up passenger boarding times (19th August).
  • The Transport Act 1968, which is to establish a Passenger Transport Authority for South East Lancashire and North East Cheshire (SELNEC). The SELNEC Area will include 2.5 million people and 700-800 square miles. It will be one of four Authorities entrusted with the responsibility for co-ordinating public transport in the conurbations (25 October).

Manchester asks the public its views on the new bus for Manchester, compared with new buses for other towns (Sheffield and Newcastle) in 1968

  • 1969
  • Stockport Corporation lays the foundation stone of its new garage at Daw Bank (7 January).
  • Lancashire United Transport opens its new Sports & Social Club at Atherton Garage (23 January)
  • Stockport Corporation receives the last front engined, rear entrance bus for use in the UK.
  • SELNEC Passenger Transport Authority (PTA) is established (1 April).
  • SELNEC Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) is established (1 September).
  • The operations of the 11 council run transport departments in the SELNEC area are handed over to SELNEC. This includes 2,526 buses and assets valued at £21,800,000 (1 November).
  • The last traditional half cab bus for the UK market is delivered to SELNEC, having been ordered by Ramsbottom UDC.
  • SELNEC enters into running agreements with North Western on joint routes.

SELNEC takes delivery of the last traditional half cab bus in the UK, ordered by Ramsbottom UDC

  • 1970

All change: in with the new orange and white livery, out with the old! Changing scenes at Victoria Bus Station in Salford

  • 1970
  • SELNEC introduces a new livery for its buses of orange and white.
  • The first computers are used for the creation of schedules and duty rosters for drivers and conductors.
  • The first experimental standard SELNEC double deck bus is placed on display at the Commercial Motor Show (September).
  • 27% of total route mileage is now one-man operated.
  • Plans are prepared for a new underground railway between Victoria and Piccadilly stations running under central Manchester, allowing passengers to travel by rail from one side of the city to the other for the first time (Picc-Vic).
  • A working agreement with SELNEC regarding joint services is reached with LUT.
  • 1971
  • SELNEC is restructured with its divisions becoming companies (1 March).
  • One Man Operation now accounts for 47% of service mileage.
  • Former Manchester Corporation garage at Parrs Wood closes.
  • Half-fare travel concessions are introduced for the elderly, restricted to off-peak hours only.
  • 1972
  • Concessionary passes for the elderly can now be used at all times, seven days a week (1 Jan).
  • Local Government Act which will create metropolitan counties and districts in 1974.
  • The North Western Road Car Company operations in SELNEC area absorbed into SELNEC, becoming SELNEC Cheshire (3 March).
  • The first bus lane in Greater Manchester opens on London Road.
  • Parliamentary powers are obtained for the Piccadilly/Victoria Tunnel (Picc-Vic).
  • The school leaving age is increased to 16.
  • Radio links are established with inspectors to help control buses.
  • The first 200 SELNEC standard buses are delivered after development work between engineers, manufacturers and body builders result in a standard SELNEC specification for its buses.
  • Developmental work takes place for an electrically powered bus.
  • 57% of the fleet is now suitable for one-man operation.
  • SELNEC becomes first PTE to sign an agreement with British Rail allowing it to determine the frequencies, fares and standards of local passenger rail services within the area (11 December).
  • 1973
  • Lancashire United Transport (LUT) introduces 'Videmat' self service ticket machines which produce tickets printed with an image of the coins inserted into the machine to pay each fare (23 July).
  • Concessionary travel is extended to rail travel for elderly persons and school children.
  • Introduction of the "hush bus", which has a noise level significantly lower than other buses, is introduced.
  • The cost of diesel fuel increases significantly due to the oil crisis.
  • Oldham (Clegg Street), Urmston and part of Stockport (Charles Street) garages all close (all former North Western garages).
  • 1974
  • 150th anniversary of public transport in Greater Manchester, marked by special events.
  • The first SELNEC electric bus is demonstrated (Silent Rider) - its batteries weigh 4 tons! (4 March).
  • Local Government Reorganisation (1 April): Greater Manchester Council (GMC) established and Greater Manchester Metropolitan County formed, including Wigan.
  • The role of the Passenger Transport Authority is transferred to Greater Manchester County Council and SELNEC becomes Greater Manchester Transport, incorporating Wigan Corporation Transport.
  • The Greater Manchester Transport 'M' logo is introduced.
  • A flat concessionary fare for the elderly and children in Greater Manchester is introduced (1st April).
  • The Centreline service is introduced, linking Manchester Victoria with Manchester Piccadilly is introduced (1 July).
  • Dial-a-Ride Limited launches an extensive demand responsive transport system in Sale.

A busy scene outside Oldham Garage: in four years much of the fleet had ended up in the new colours

  • 1975
  • Greater Manchester Transport’s second electric bus (Lucas Electric Bus) is delivered with a top speed of 45mph. It can run for a 12 hour duty, can cover 40 miles between charges and its batteries weigh 2 tons. It can carry a full load of 34 passengers and accelerate from 0 to 30 in 15 seconds. (January).
  • GMT starts the conversion to Almex ticket machines, to standardise ticket issuing (April).
  • The SaverSeven weekly ticket is launched giving unlimited bus travel within Greater Manchester.
  • 69% of the fleet is now suitable for one man operation.
  • Over a third all buses in the fleet have been equipped with radios, including all buses used on night services.
  • 'Bus News', detailing bus/rail service alterations and traffic delays is launched on BBC Radio Manchester.
  • The Lucas Electric Bus travels non-stop from Manchester to Birmingham at 27mph – at the time the longest distance ever travelled by an electric bus in one go.
  • Silent Rider operates on rush hour services. With a top speed of 40mph, it has 41 seats, can run for 40 miles between charges and can be fully recharged in 3 hours.
  • Greater Manchester Transport purchases the operations of Warburton’s of Tottington (November)
  • 1976
  • Greater Manchester Transport acquires Lancashire United Transport, but it remains separate (1 January).
  • The 'Picc-Vic' project is cancelled.
  • SELNEC Parcels, the successor to Manchester Corporation’s parcel services, closes.
  • Charterplan coach unit is launched.
  • SaverSeven is extended to include all rail travel in Greater Manchester.
  • Altrincham Interchange, the first purpose built bus and rail interchange in Greater Manchester, opens (1 November).
  • Greater Manchester Transport acquires Godfrey Abbott (1 November).
  • 1977
  • New Whitefield Bus Station opens.
  • The first new railway station is opened by Greater Manchester Transport at Brinnington near Stockport. This is the first new station to be opened in Greater Manchester since 1938.
  • Silent Rider is demonstrated in Chicago at the World’s first International Electric Vehicle Exposition.
  • Work starts on preparing the original Queens Road bus garage in Manchester as the Museum of Transport.
  • 1978
  • Greater Manchester Transport’s Tameside Garage opens, designed to accommodate 150 buses (February).
  • Rochdale Bus Station is officially opened (16 May).
  • 1979
  • Official opening of the Museum of Transport (4 May).
  • Greater Manchester Transport's new Training Department at Bennett Street opens (23 May) and a new livery of yellow and white is introduced for its training buses (June).
  • Manchester Arndale Bus Station opens (24 September).
  • The new Eccles Bus Station opens (September).
  • British Rail receives Parliamentary powers for the ‘Castlefield Curve’ – the plans are later cancelled.
  • GMT opens Bolton Garage (Crook Street), designed to hold 220 buses (October).
  • The ClipperCard 10 trip bus ticket is launched (November).

  • 1980

Livery change time again: 2267 in the original orange and white livery and 7856 in the new livery

  • 1980
  • Heaton Park Tramway is officially opened (28 March).
  • The new Bury bus and rail interchange becomes operational, it is officially opened by Princess Alexandra (9th July).
  • Phases 1 and 2 of the new Stockport bus station are opened.
  • Shop-n-Save and Teentravel ClipperCards are introduced.
  • 1981
  • New bus stations open: Oldham Town Square (January), Oldham Clegg Street, Southern Cemetery, and Wythenshawe (December). Stockport bus station is completed.
  • Bus fares are frozen.
  • One man operated buses now cover over 90% of Greater Manchester Transport’s bus services.
  • A new livery is introduced for the bus fleet: white, orange and brown (summer).
  • The Hazel Grove rail electrification scheme is completed (1 June).
  • The Concessionary ClipperCard is introduced.
  • Lancashire United Transport is absorbed into Greater Manchester Transport and the LUT name disappears from buses.
  • GMT completes Altrincham Garage, designed to house 80 buses (June).
  • 1982
  • Bus fares unfrozen which leads to significant fare increases.
  • The Saver Monthly is introduced.
  • Sunday Rover day ticket introduced to encourage use of buses on Sundays.
  • Pope John Paul II visits Manchester - 1,000 buses are used to transport people to Heaton Park.
  • Peak Wayfarer ticket giving cheaper access to leisure destinations in North Cheshire and the Peak District is introduced.
  • Working hours for drivers, conductors and catering staff are reduced from 40 to 39 on a 'without loss of pay' basis.
  • 1983
  • The Teen Travel ClipperCard is extended for use by all 16-19 year olds.
  • The first and second stages of the reconstructed Ashton-under-Lyne Bus Station are opened (February).
  • Middleton Bus Station improvements are completed (June).
  • The working week for inspectors and traffic staff is reduced from 39 to 38 hours.
  • Bus services are provided free of charge on 25th and 26th December.
  • 1984
  • Manchester Airport Bus Station is officially opened (1 March).
  • The reconstruction of Radcliffe bus station is completed (April).
  • The age at which children can travel free on buses is raised from 3 to 5 years.
  • The first Bill seeking permission to build Metrolink is submitted to Parliament.
  • The last Manchester Corporation designed ‘Mancunian’ bus operates (13 November).

A typical scene as you go past the entrance of the former Manchester Corporation Birchfields Road Garage

  • 1985
  • Post Offices begin to sell SaverSeven and ClipperCard pre-purchased bus tickets.
  • 'Localine' bus service scheme for the mobility impaired starts operating in Wythenshawe.
  • GMT officially opens the new Bury Garage (August).
  • The first Ring and Ride bus service for the mobility impaired is established in Manchester (September).
  • To promote the use of ClipperCards and Saver tickets, television advertising is used for the first time: 'They cut the fares, they cut the fuss'.
  • Local Government Act 1985: abolition of metropolitan county councils.
  • Transport Act 1985: bus service deregulation which will bring about changes as great as those seen in the 1930s and the transfer of Passenger Transport Executive bus operations to companies owned by Passenger Transport Authorities (30 October).
  • A shadow joint board Passenger Transport Authority is established for Greater Manchester.
  • Yelloway Motor Services is sold.

New striking Express livery introduced, seen on Haymarket Street, Bury just outside the Interchange

  • 1986
  • Greater Manchester Buses Limited is formed to take over the operational aspects of Greater Manchester Transport in preparation for Deregulation (27 February).
  • Greater Manchester Transport (GMT) closes bus garages at Weaste (January), Leigh (February) and Hindley (March).
  • An unlimited travel bus pass for 16 to 19 year olds is introduced (January).
  • Greater Manchester Council is abolished (31 March). Responsibility for public transport passes to Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (1 April).
  • GMT introduces Express bus branding (25 May).
  • GMT closes Birchfields Road, Frederick Road and Northenden garages (25 October).
  • The 1985 Transport Act brings about the deregulation of bus services in Greater Manchester. Greater Manchester Transport no longer directly runs bus services with effect from 26 October.
  • GM Buses introduces Little Gem minibus services (October).
  • Many new bus operators come onto the scene, whilst other long established names expand their operations into Greater Manchester. Ribble and Crosville both establish a greater presence in the area, and even East Midland of Chesterfield starts to run local services.
  • Victoria Bus Station closes.

A well-lit Stockport Bus Station

  • 1987
  • Bolton’s new bus and rail interchange becomes fully operational and Wigan’s new bus station is opened.
  • Salford Crescent railway station opens.
  • The Bee Line Buzz Company starts operating minibuses (26 January).
  • The new Bolton Moor Lane Bus Station is officially opened (15 April).
  • GM Buses launches its Busabout pre-paid tickets, valid for 7 and 14 days (October).
  • 1988
  • The Windsor link – a new rail line between Salford Crescent and Deansgate to connect the rail services from the northwest with the southern half of the county - becomes operational.
  • The Metrolink project is officially launched.
  • GM Buses launches orange and white ‘People on the Move’ livery (26 July).
  • The Bee Line Buzz Company is sold to Ribble.
  • 1989
  • Lever Street Bus Station opens.
  • Construction of Metrolink begins.
  • GM Buses introduces electronic ticket machines (Wayfarer) for the first time (4 June).
  • Stagecoach buys Ribble.
  • 1990

Trams once again rumble down Market Street, Manchester!

  • 1990
  • Holders of all rail tickets to, from and across Manchester city centre are entitled to free travel on Centreline bus services.
  • GM Buses starts to use an in-house desk top publishing system (DTP) to produce artwork for publicity for the first time.
  • CCTV is installed for the first time on buses in Altrincham by GM Buses (September).
  • 1991
  • A Day Ranger one day off-peak countywide rail ticket is introduced.
  • A new pre-paid ticket scheme (TravelCards) is developed jointly by GMPTE and the bus operators.
  • Junior Buscard – a bus ticket for children between the ages of 5 and 15 years, giving unlimited bus travel throughout Greater Manchester – is introduced.
  • GM Buses closes Altrincham, Rochdale, Swinton and Tameside garages (November)
  • 1992
  • Smoking is banned on all GM Buses vehicles (1 January).
  • Leigh Bus Station officially opens.
  • Her Majesty the Queen officially opens Metrolink on 17 July.
  • All local rail passengers making journeys in Greater Manchester to Manchester city centre are able to travel free on Metrolink in the city zone.
  • The forced split of GM Buses is announced by Government, using powers from the Transport Act 1985 (November).
  • New radio and telephone system introduced by GM Buses. It is possible to contact a bus radio from an internal telephone for the first time.
  • GM Buses launches its range of pre-paid SuperGem Saver Cards and daysaver tickets to try and win passengers.
  • 1993
  • The pilot for the new Travelshop service is introduced at Leigh bus station.
  • The new rail link to Manchester Airport is opened.
  • Annual “Saver TravelCard” tickets are launched.
  • The Railways Act 1993 which leads to rail franchising, re-organisation and privatisation.
  • Greater Manchester Buses Limited split into two separate companies ready for disposal - both become operational, still in public sector ownership: Greater Manchester Buses North Limited and Greater Manchester Buses South Limited (13 December).
  • 1994
  • The two GM Buses companies are sold to two ‘Employee Buy Out Teams’ (31 March).
  • OneCard smartcard is trialled in Bolton, which allows non-cash payment of fares (March).
  • GM Buses North launches Day Return Fares (1 May).
  • GM Buses South introduces its buy on the bus ‘Network 7’ weekly tickets.
  • Ashton-under-Lyne’s new bus station and Travelshop are opened.
  • Metrolink carries 12 million passengers. 20% of those journeys had previously been made by car.

  • 1995
  • GM Buses North launches its buy on the bus ‘Big Orange Weekly’ tickets (1 May).
  • 1996
  • System 1 Travelcards is launched, as the new name for Saver TravelCards (February).
  • GM Buses South is bought by Stagecoach (February) and GM Buses North by FirstBus (March). GM Buses South becomes Stagecoach Manchester and GM Buses North is rebranded as “Greater Manchester”.
  • Stagecoach Manchester rebrands its Network 7 weekly ticket as Megarider and launches Magic Bus services.
  • Manchester city centre is badly damaged in a bomb blast and the bus station in the Arndale centre has to be closed (15 June).
  • GMPTE ceases to fund local rail services.

  • 1997
  • CCTV systems begin to be introduced at bus stations.
  • The railways serving Greater Manchester are privatised through franchising.
  • Stagecoach Manchester reopens Charles Street bus garage (12 August).
  • 1998
  • Atherton Garage, once the home of LUT, closes (7 February).
  • “Greater Manchester” (GM Buses North) becomes First Manchester (1 April).
  • System 1 Travel launches the first multi-operator daysaver tickets for Greater Manchester, with options for bus only, bus and train, bus and Metrolink and all modes (27 September).
  • GMPTE’s telephone enquiry bureau joins forces with those of the two major bus operators.
  • GMPTE website launches.
  • 1999
  • The Deputy Prime Minister officially opens the county’s new Public Transport Telephone Information Bureau (February).
  • Farnworth Bus Station is refurbished.
  • A web-based Public Transport Journey Planner becomes available on the GMPTE website.
  • Museum of Transport website launches.
  • The Prime Minister officially opens Metrolink services to Salford Quays (December).
  • 2000

The street that’s disappeared! Aerial view of Cannon Street looking towards Manchester Cathedral

  • 2000
  • First Manchester launches its FirstDay daysaver ticket (5 March).
  • Ticket machines on First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester are replaced with smartcard compatible machines.
  • The First Local Transport Plan is submitted to Government.
  • The first Quality Bus Corridor in Greater Manchester, from Leigh to Bolton, is opened (17 November).
  • First Manchester rebrands ‘The Big Orange Weekly’ as FirstWeek (26 November).
  • 2001
  • The Metrolink extension to Eccles is officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal (January).
  • New Oldham Bus Station opens at Cheapside (14 January).
  • First Manchester and Stagecoach Manchester discontinue SuperGem pre-paid tickets (31 March).
  • A Nightbus network launched in Manchester.
  • New Eccles Bus Station opens (18 November).
  • 2002
  • The last of the Greater Manchester Standard Leyland Atlantean buses operates in Greater Manchester (7 January).
  • Centreline is rebranded as Metroshuttle.
  • The XVII Commonwealth Games are held in Manchester - over 60,000 spectators each day use public transport.
  • ClipperCards are phased out (31 October).
  • 2003
  • Bus stops start to be upgraded to display the stop name and direction of travel (January).
  • Concessionary travel eligibility lowered to 60 for men.
  • Introduction of Yellow School Buses on certain contracted school services.
  • Cannon Street in Manchester closes to buses (30 August).
  • Victoria Bus Station near Greengate in Salford reopens as Exchange Bus Station (1 September).
  • Whitefield Bus Station has closed.
  • 2004
  • The new Manchester Airport bus station, part of the new Ground Transport Interchange (The Station) officially opens (30 January).
  • First Manchester closes Bolton Garage and opens the replacement Weston Street Garage (13 March).
  • HRH The Earl of Wessex visits the Museum of Transport to mark its 25th anniversary (19 October).
  • ‘How’s my Train Running?’ automated telephone information line launched by GMPTE.
  • Real time passenger information (RTPI) equipment is trialled on certain bus routes in Greater Manchester.
  • 2005
  • Introduction of a text message-based, 24-hour bus timetable information service (February).
  • New Hyde Bus Station opens.
  • New Middleton Bus Station opens (July).
  • 2006
  • System One Travel weekly and monthly tickets can be bought at PayPoint outlets in Greater Manchester for the first time (February).
  • Free travel on buses, trains and Metrolink in Greater Manchester after 0930 for people over 60, resident in Greater Manchester (1 April).
  • Shudehill Interchange in Manchester city centre opens, linking buses and Metrolink (Exchange Bus Station closes).
  • New park and ride at Whitefield Metrolink station opens, with bus interchange facilities (June).
  • Oldham’s West Street bus station extension opens.
  • GMPTE installs CCTV in bus shelters affected by vandalism in Greater Manchester.
  • 2007
  • GMPTE moves to new headquarters, 2 Piccadilly Place (officially opens 12 June).
  • 2008
  • Local Transport Act 2008 which renames the Passenger Transport Authorities as Integrated Transport Authorities and allows for the re-regulation of bus services in certain circumstances.
  • Stagecoach Manchester acquires the local bus service operations of A Mayne & Son (21 January).
  • The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme is launched: free travel for over 60s is extended to cover all off peak local bus services in England, using a new smartcard pass (1 April).
  • Greater Manchester congestion charging referendum (December).
  • 2009
  • Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority renamed Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (9 February).
  • Stagecoach Manchester closes Glossop Garage.
  • Oldham Loop railway line (Manchester Victoria – Oldham Mumps – Rochdale) closes to be converted to Metrolink (3 October).

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Accredited Museum Greater Manchester's Transport Heritage Hidden - Heritage Around the City Transport for Greater Manchester
Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester - Greater Manchester Transport Society
Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
  • 1824Drawing of John Greenwood's 1824 horse omnibus
  • Conductresses (female conductors) are employed by Manchester Corporation for the first time due to the shortage of staff because of the First World War.

  • Manchester Corporation introduces the City Circle service linking key areas of the city centre – it uses one-man operated buses (20th June).
  • 1979

Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester
  • Drawing of John Greenwood's 1824 horse omnibus

The Five-Wheeled Omnibus - Pendleton to Manchester 1861-1866. Original on display in Salford Museum and Art Gallery.