Bluebird bus in Salford on service 151
|Defunct||March 3, 2013|
Greengate, Middleton, M24 1RU
|Locale||North West England|
|Service area||Greater Manchester|
|Service type||bus service|
|Destinations||Manchester, Manchester Airport, Middleton, Oldham|
|Hubs||Middleton Bus Station|
Bluebird Bus and Coach was a bus operator based in Middleton in Greater Manchester. The company was formed in 1988 by three members of the Dunstan family and sold in 2013 to Stagecoach Manchester. It operated a number of commercial and supported routes in the Middleton, Higher Blackley, Moston and North Manchester area.
The company's most popular route was the 112 service, providing Bluebird's main service from Middleton to Manchester. Several of their services ran from Middleton bus station.
A Bluebird bus was also used by the University of Salford as a free service for staff and students to and from University Campus's and university halls of residences. This ran during weekdays from university opening hours till late in the evening.
The company was formed in 1988 when Tom Dunstan, a former Greater Manchester PTE area manager, bought a small coach company called Bluebird of Middleton. Tom Dunstan died in 2004 and the company is now run by his son Michael. The first route operated was commercial service 112, which was followed by a number of contracted routes. In 2006 and 2007, Bluebird expanded its operating area to Oldham introducing buses on the 181, 182, 402, 410 and 411 routes.
In November 2008, Bluebird was the first operator to run the Bolton Metroshuttle service before being replaced by Maytree Travel in January 2010, although the company would resume running a Metroshuttle service later that year, when they took the operation of the Stockport Metroshuttle service from Swan's Travel, although their Metroshuttle operation ended in March 2011, when the Stockport Metroshuttle service was taken over by Stagecoach Manchester.
On 7 November 2012, it was announced that Stagecoach Manchester had agreed to acquire the business and assets of Bluebird for £2m, although the deal is subject to clearance from the Office of Fair Trading and was approved on 22 February 2013. The purchase will include Bluebird's 40 vehicles, 80 staff members and its lease on the depot at Greengate, near Middleton and will be completed on 3 March 2013.
This is a summary of Bluebird services at the time of the take-over
|44||Manchester Airport||Manchester Piccadilly||Gatley, Cheadle, East Didsbury, Fallowfield, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University|
|72||Chadderton Sportsman||Manchester Piccadilly||New Moston, Newton Heath|
|Manchester Albert Square (peak times)|
|77||Moston Gardeners Arms (evenings)||Manchester Piccadilly||New Moston (evenings), Newton Heath, Philips Park Cemetery||Some weekday journeys run Manchester-Manchester via Newton Heath, Moston and Collyhurst in both directions.|
|78||Oldham||Manchester Piccadilly||Limeside, Hollinwood, Woodhouses, Failsworth, Brookdale Park, Philips Park Cemetery||Evenings and Sundays only|
|80||Middleton||Manchester Church Street||Moston, Miles Platting||Monday-Saturday daytime|
|Manchester Piccadilly||Sunday daytime|
|Middleton||Manchester Piccadilly||Moston, Harpurhey||113 runs weekday mornings only via Albert Square|
|Middleton||Middleton||White Moss, Moston, Harpurhey, North Manchester General Hospital, Higher Blackley||Circulars. Service 116 runs in opposite direction.|
|131||Boarshaw||Manchester Albert Square||Alkrington, Harpurhey||Peak times|
|145||Philips Park Cemetery||Manchester Albert Square||Newton Heath, Moston, Harpurhey||One weekday morning journey only|
|151||Hollinwood, Morrisons||Mandley Park||New Moston, Failsworth, Newton Heath, Collyhurst, Cheetham Hill|
|159||Oldham||Middleton||Royal Oldham Hospital, Chadderton, Washbrook, Hollinwood, Woodhouses, Failsworth, New Moston, Middleton Junction||One weekday morning journey between Middleton and Woodhouses is operated by JPT|
|173||Stepping Hill Hospital||Manchester Piccadilly||Offerton, Heaviley, Stockport, Heaton Chapel, Reddish, Longsight|
|291||Trafford Park||Manchester Piccadilly||Old Trafford, Universities||Weekdays only. One evening journey continues from Manchester to Trafford Centre via Trafford Park|
|396||Newton Heath||Ashton-under-Lyne||Failsworth, Hollinwood, Garden Suburb, Fitton Hill, Hathershaw, Waterloo|
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