Metrolink openings ... and a closure
The Metrolink line beyond St Werburgh's Road to East Didsbury, with
intermediate stops at Withington, Burton Road, West Didsbury, and
Didsbury Village, opens to passengers on Thursday 23 May. The route
lies on the trackbed of what was once a main line from Manchester
Central to London St Pancras, with expresses suach as the 'Palatine'
and later the famous 'Midland Pullman' passing through before joining
the line which still exists as a goods line running along the Davenport
/ Bramhall border and as a passenger line south of Hazel Grove. The 'Disused
has some interesting pictures of the 'Old'
This picture by Greg Mape
shows trams on test at East Didsbury station on 14 May. On the left is
the Trans-Pennine Trail cycleway, which continues on the trackbed under
the bridge in the distance and then down to the side of the Mersey
river which it follows to Stockport town centre. This section of the
Trail has been closed off for some time, hopefully it will be open
Trams to East Didsbury run via Manchester Victoria and do not serve
Manchester Piccadilly, so the best wasy to catch one is to travel by a
train which is running through towards Bolton and change at Deansgate.
East Didsbury (Metrolink) is not adjacent to the Network Rail station
on the Airport line, it's few minutes' walk away across a major
crossroads and on a higher level.
Less welcome to some people is that Mosley Street tram-stop will close
permanently after the last tram on 17 May, now that the real-time
indicators on the other stations in the city centre are finally working
again, along with the new signalling system. Hopefully future
passengers will be spared the long signal stops and other hold-ups
which have been prevalent recently.
14 May 2013
Needless to say the Japanese Knotweed is growing again despite the
'treatment' by Network Rail. We have fired off another email to Mr
14 May 2013
Upcoming engineering work
, and also Saturday
, the line between Furness Vale and Buxton will
be closed for engineering work, with replacement buses in operation. As
far as we can see, train times at Davenport are the same as normal, but
do check before travelling.
Also note that a new timetable period starts on 19 May: there do not
seem to be any dramatic changes. The leaflet can be downloaded or you
can get a copy from the station during opening hours Monday - Saturday
25 April 2013
Save our Parks
Stockport Council, still desperate to cut costs, is proposing to cut
the costs of looking after our parks, including Cale Green Park and
Hallam Gardens. There is a Consultation on the Council website in the
form of an on-line
which will be live until 31 May. We would encourage
everyone to complete this, as if some of the plans are carried out the
parks would start to lok very shabby and unwelcoming. Already, flower
displays have been abandoned, although the Friends of Cale Green Park
are doing their best to remedy this and would appreciate help.
In future, planned measures for the parks include 'Graffiti deemed to
be non‐offensive would be removed as and when resources
'Most parks and open spaces will be litter picked no more than once a
week.' Trained gardeners will be replaced by 'Multi-tasking
See the Friends of Cale Green
for more information.
25 April 2013
Michael Cain writes: 'I am a committee member of the Buxton Fringe and
am trying to foster busking and train entertainment so that the journey
and the town feel festive. Details are on the website: www.buxtonfringe.org.uk/
Over 100 events have already been entered for this year's Fringe which
runs from Wednesday July 3 to Sunday July 21. If you would like to be
part of the Fringe, there is still time so - see the information for
. The strict and final deadline for the printed programme
is April 21.
9 April 2013
Buxton station, Sunday 7 April, with trains awaiting the Monday morning
peak. How nice it would be if the ocasional Sunday special ran over the
goods lines to Chinley and Dowlow...
Knotweed, pt 2.
We've received a reply from Mr Rankin, Network Rail's Community
Relations Advisor, who writes: 'We have recently been to site and and
treated the Japanese Knotweed. I trust this is helpful.'
Will it return? Time will tell...
5 April 2013
The following bus route changes affecting Davenport take place from 7
or 8 April:
Route 372 Mondays - Saturdays, Stockport - Woodsmoor and North Park
Road, run by Stagecoach. Until early afternoon, journeys are
extended to Hazel Grove, Fiveways via Stepping Hill and Torkington,
partly replacing bus 390. An interesting feature of this is that to
reach Stepping Hill Hospital it runs along a section of Bramhall Moor
Lane past the former Mirrlees factory which has not been served by
buses in recent times. It also provides a useful link from the
Davenport and Woodsmoor areas to the Sainsbury's 'Superstore' in Hazel
Route 378 Stockport - Wilmslow. From Sunday 8 April evening, Sunday and
public holiday journeys will be run by Stagecoach and are changed to
run between Grove Lane and Stockport only. Monday to Saturday evening
journeys also run Grove Lane only, due to financial cutbacks by
Cheshire East council. Timetable
The weekday evening 378 will be run by Manchester Community Transport,
who are also taking over the 307/308 Stockport - Bramhall circular
routes, with changes to the route and timetables. This again raises the
irritating issue of non-availability of Stagecoach bus 'Dayrider' and
'Megarider' tickets on other operators' services.
Above: On 7 March, one of the last 372 journeys by BakerBus of
Biddulph, who have now pulled out of Stockport area operations, passes
Davenport station. Stagecoach now operate this route.
5 April 2013
Cale Green Park Farmers' Market
On Easter Monday 2013 (1
from 11 am until 3pm, the Friends of Cale Green
Park are hosting a Farmers
Market. There will be about 20 stalls,
an Easter Egg Hunt, some egg and spoon races, a magician [for the
children], clog dancers, and much much more.
27 March 2013
No trains Sunday 31 March
A bus replacement service will operate all day between Hazel Grove and
Manchester on Sunday 31 March. See the Journey Planner
Also, engineering works connected with the enlargement of the station
at Salford Crescent
will block the line through Salford Crescent all day on 30 and 31
March. On 30 March the trains which normallly run between Hazel Grove
and Preston will run between Hazel Grove and Manchester Oxford Road at
the normal times.
27 March 2013
The Wallace Sutherland Collection
We have been given permission by Mrs Sutherland to present a collection
of colour slides taken by her late husband J.W.Sutherland, including
many of Davenport and the Buxton line. Follow this link
to explore the collection.
27 March 2013
We've sent the following email to Network Rail. If it generates any
response we'll let you know:
'Davenport station has been infested with Japanese Knotweed all
along the back of the up platform for several years. This is a threat
to neighbours' property, and is also a great disincentive to Friends
Group members from gardening at the station due to the risk of
transferring it to our own gardens. You say on your website that it is
your policy to remove this invasive plant, but nothing has been done.
Please can something be done soon? It is not close to the track and
will not require any precautions regarding passing trains.'
15 March 2013
150 years Whaley Bridge to Buxton
June 2013 marks 150 years of the opening of the line from Whaley Bridge
to Buxton, which took place some years after the opening of the
original Stockport, Disley and Whaley Bridge line in 1857. We
understand that there will be events along the line to commemorate
this, including at Chapel-en-le-Frith Carnival on 15 June. More details
when we can find them.
5 March 2013
More bus changes
Following on from the changes to bus service mentioned earlier, there
are some other alterations in forthcoming weeks. Cuts in subsidy by
Cheshire East Council have resulted in changes (from 4 March) in the
Stockport - Poynton - Macclesfield / Middewood services which have been
operated recently by Potteries-based BakerBus. These will now be run by
High Peak (Macclesfield service 392/3) and GHA (Middlewood service P1).
The Middlewood service no longer serves Stockport, running instead from
Hazel Grove railway station and calling at Poynton Railway station en
route. Unfortunately, departures from Hazel Grove station at 37 minutes
pass the hour are not a particularly good match with trains from
Manchester which arrive at 13 and 45 minutes past.
As a result of the above, BakerBus no longer wish to run 'our' 372
- Davenport - Woodsmoor - North Park Road, and their bright yellow
buses will disappear from the scene, replaced by Stagecoach buses. This
is in fact a benefit to Davenport passengers as Stagecoach day and
monthly passes can be used on any bus to/from Stockport during the day.
5 March 2013
Bus service changes
Good news on the bus service front is that the contract for the evening
journeys on Route 374, connecting Stockport and Hazel Grove via
Davenport and the New House Farm estate, which had been given to small
local firm 'M Travel' has been returned to Stagecoach Manchester who
run the route for the rest of the day. This not only means that more
modern buses are used, but also that Day Saver tickets bought on
Stagecoach buses earlier in the day can be used for the return journey.
Less good news for some, however, is that the 23:00 bus from Stockport
to Grove Lane, which had also been entrusted to M Travel, has now been withdrawn completely
. The last
buses from Stockport Bus Station to the Davenport station area are now
the 22:30 which continues towards Bramhall, and the 22:45 on route 309
which continues along Garners Lane. However, the 192 along the A6 to
Hazel Grove has much later departures from Stockport, until after
The timetable booklets are available as a PDF file from the TfGM
31 January 2013
reported previously on the closure of the 'Garden of Eden' greengrocery
on Bramhall Lane. Following this, customers found that the nearby
'Spar' shop does have a good selection of fruit and vegetables, and
makes a point of proudly labelling those which produced in the UK, a
matter which some customers consider important.
We are pleased to say that the 'Garden of Eden' has now re-opened under
new management. We wish them good luck with their venture. Recently the
door to the 'Garden' had begun to include fruit and veg in its range,
but has agreed to cease.
Down the road at what used to be called Charlestown, the 'Best One'
store remains closed and shuttered, and is now advertised for lease or
Updated 31 January 2013
Middlewood Sundays (update)
As mentioned here earlier, Sunday
to and from Buxton now call at Middlewood (for the Middlewood Way) only
every two hours during
the day, instead of hourly as before. This matches the new weekday
pattern, in which trains to stop alternately at either Middlewood
or Dove Holes, rather than alternate trains either missing both or
stopping at both. But Sunday is the day when people go for walks and
for which Middlewood station is very convenient, and until recently
hourly Sunday trains have stopped at all stations.
We have spoken to Mr Chapman of Transport for Greater Manchester about
this. He says that the policy is to reduce overall journey times from
Buxton to Manchester. The rail industry has a computer model
which predicts how much percentage increase in patronage from shorter
journey times, and if Buxton - Manchester times can reduced to 55
minutes then then significantly more people will travel by train, even
on Sundays. Middlewood has, according to the official figures, just
19,000 passengers per year, and so does not justify an hourly train
even on Sundays. So walking and cycling trips to the Middlewood Way
using the train will now have to be planned to last either 1 hour 38
minutes or 3 hours 38, although exceptionally the Sunday 09:13
and 10:08 'up' trains from Davenport do call at Middlewood.
Most Sunday trains do stop at Heaton Chapel and Levenshulme. The ironic
thing about all this is that the service is slower now with the
'modern' (25-year-old!) trains is slower than the best times of the old
diesel railcars built in the 50s. The 1967 timetable shows an uphill
time of 55 minutes from Manchester, non-stop to Stockport then
all stations) and just 48 minutes down. The equivalent times today are
59 minutes uphill, missing Middlewood or Dove Holes, and 58 minutes
down. The main reasons seem to be the longer time now allowed between
Stockport and Manchester Piccadilly, and the restrictions on speed now
in force on the downhill sections.
Update 23 January 2013
Extra departures from Davenport towards Manchester on Sundays
are at 09:16, 13:16, 15:11,
17:17, 19:11 and 21:11. Note the variable times and the gap in the
morning service. Return from Manchester Piccadilly is more regular at
12:22, 14:22, 16:22, 18:22, 20:22 and 22:22. All these trains use
Platforms 13/14 at Piccadilly and also serve Oxford Road, Deansgate and
Salford Crescent stations, which is useful. However,
from 6 January to 10 February they will run between Hazel Grove and
Less welcome news about the new timetable is that the policy of running
buses to Buxton in place of the last trains of the day, Monday - Thursday
, to allow
engineering work, has now been included in the timetable, and will
happen every Monday - Thursday from the New Year until 31 March.
However, it's not too bad for us in that the 21:52 and 23:10 trains
from Manchester will run as far as Hazel Grove before handing over
passengers to a
bus. In the downhill direction, the 21:29 Buxton - Manchester
(Davenport 22:04) runs as normal, and there will still be a train
starting at 23:32 from Hazel Grove (Davenport 23:36) to Manchester, but
passengers wanting the last train from Buxton (22:56) will need to
travel all the way by bus, arriving at Davenport at 00:01. Days to be
avoided if planning a trip to the Buxton Opera House, perhaps.
Another change is that - with exceptions in the early morning and late
evening - trains from our line towards Manchester on Mondays to
Saturdays, even the ones from Buxton, do not stop at Heaton Chapel or
Levenshulme. However, it has not been possible to make this change in
the reverse direction, and most trains do continue to call, so we will
have to continue to compete for seats at Manchester.
3 January 2013
Metrolink trams are now running beyond Oldham Mumps to Shaw &
Crompton, calling at Derker. The line is served by trams from St
Werburgh's Road (Chorlton) via Victoria, so it is necessary to change
if travelling from Piccadilly, either at St Peter's Square or by
walking from Piccadilly Gardens to Market Street. The line to
Droylsden, which leaves Piccadilly station in the opposite direction
from other routes, is now scheduled to open on 11 February.
For a story about the ongoing fiasco with the new tram signalling
system which has led to much inconvenience, and is likely to prove
expensive, see the Manchester Evening News
3 January 2013