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We have been working with bus companies to arrange cover for school and local bus routes after Little Gem ceased operation on 22 April.

After emergency contracts were put in place to cover at-risk services over a 13-week period, TfGM and operators have now agreed contracts which will ensure services continue until January 2025.

Full details of new operators, amendments to local services, and school bus information is available below.

Impact to local bus routes from 23 July 2023

As TfGM and operators have now agreed contracts which will ensure services continue until January 2025, below is the outcome of this process and updates on the affected services.

Amended local bus routes

84 - operator: Diamond Bus
Diamond Bus will extend the 84 service to introduce a new direct link between Chorlton and the Manchester Royal Infirmary. The MRI and Moss Side had been served by the 44, which will be withdrawn but parts of the route will be incorporated into the new 84 which will be renumbered as service 87.

The 18 bus service will serve the Royal Oak estate (previously covered by the 44). The 44 will also be extended through Trafford Park to Eccles on an evening and Sunday.

336, 337 and 389 - operator: Diamond Bus
Daytime 336, 337 and 389 bus services, which have been covered by First, will now be operated by Diamond Bus.

280 - operator: Belle Vue
Belle Vue will continue to run the 280, but the service will be amended to run between Altrincham and Partington.

The rest of the route (between Partington and Sale) will be covered by the CAT5 (a Warrington's Own Buses service). The CAT5 route will now run Altrincham to Warrington via Sale and Partington.

New and replaced local bus routes

Some bus services that were previously operated by Little Gem have been withdrawn and replaced by other services to ensure that there is minimal disruption to your journey:

  • The 44 will be replaced by 18 and 87 (previously 84 - see above for further details).
  • The 288 bus will be replaced by X5 (Warrington's Own Buses) and extended from Altrincham to Manchester Airport through Bowdon Vale.
  • Both the 260 and 262 will be withdrawn from 23 July due to proximity of alternative services (eg. 281 and CAT5 - see above for more information).
  • The 261 will be replaced by the extended 281 route from Sale to Sale West.
  • Daytime 375 services will be replaced by the new 385 bus, covering Stockport, Bosden Farm, Hawk Green, Marple and Mellor. The new 385 will not cover Stepping Hill or Hazel Grove. There will be a new Local Link service that will connect these areas.

New evening services

New evening services will be provided on both the CAT5 and X5 as well as a new Sunday daytime service on the X5.

Passengers on the Partington service who are unable to get to a bus stop may be eligible for the Ring & Ride service. For more information, visit TfGM’s Ring & Ride webpage.

School bus services from September 2023

From September, buses will continue to run to all schools previously served under the Little Gem contracts.

The latest timetable information for the academic year 2023-2024 will be available in August, so don't forget to visit our school webpages then for more information.

Local Link

Local Link offers a flexible transport service for local journeys in areas where public transport services are limited.

New Local Link provision will be put in place to provide journeys from across South Manchester to/from Wythenshawe Hospital. In addition, existing customers on the Wythenshawe service will also be able to travel to/from Withington hospital.

The Partington Local Link service will be withdrawn, with some of the journeys being covered by changes to other commercial services such as the CAT5 and the X5.

There will be a new Local Link service in place to provide journeys from across East Stockport to/from Stepping Hill Hospital. For more information and other Local Link updates, visit our dedicated webpage.

Ring & Ride accessible minibuses

Ring & Ride provide accessible, low cost transport to disabled people and older people with walking difficulties. If you qualify, you can book a Ring & Ride accessible minibus to take you, and an accompanying adult, door to door for journeys of up to 6 miles in Greater Manchester.

There are some exceptions where registered users may travel more than 6 miles from their home address as long as the destination is within Greater Manchester.
Trips which may be considered include:

  • Travel to the nearest local hospital
  • Travel to the nearest town centre or accessible transport facility

Ring & Ride minibuses are suitable for taking wheelchairs, and all drivers have had special accessibility and disability-awareness training.

This service operates between 8am to 10.45pm Monday to Saturday and 8am to 10.25pm on Sundays.