Stagecoach’s new Manchester route competes with FirstGroup

To celebrate the launch of route 38, a new cross-city service competing with one of First Manchester’s main corridors, Stagecoach teamed up with radio station Key 103 and Salford College, engaging a student to play guitar to entertain passengers [pictured]. .

Route 38, which runs up to every 10 mins from Farnworth bus station, through Salford and across the centre of Manchester, undertook its first weekday journey last Monday (19 May).

The route, which serves Salford College, Salford University, Manchester University, and Manchester Metropolitan University competes directly with First Manchester’s frequent routes 36 and 37 along the A6, though First’s services extend north to Bolton, while route 38 runs south to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

Speaking about the new service, Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, Christopher Bowles says: “This is an important new route for the area, connecting the hospitals and local colleges and improving our network in Manchester and Salford.

“We recognise local bus services provide a lifeline in communities and Stagecoach Manchester is committed to offering the best possible service for local people.”

The new route increases Stagecoach’s presence in north Manchester and follows the recent acquisitions of JPT, one of the last independent operators of commercial bus services in Greater Manchester; First in Wigan, and Bluebird.

Meanwhile First has moved into the south of the conurbation, firstly with the extension of its frequent route 18 to Manchester Royal Infirmary and recently with the purchase of Finglands from EYMS.