Greater Manchester bus route 192
Bus 192 in Manchester
|Start||Hazel Grove, Rising Sun pub|
|Via||Stepping Hill, Great Moor, Davenport, Heaviley, Stockport, Heaton Norris, Heaton Chapel, Levenshulme, Longsight, Ardwick, Ardwick Green|
|End||Manchester, Piccadilly Gardens|
|Frequency||every 2-10 minutes|
Greater Manchester bus route 192 is a frequent and popular bus route running between Manchester city centre and Stockport, operated by Stagecoach Manchester. It carries over nine million passengers each year, and is often considered to be the busiest bus route in the country. Running every 10 minutes for the full length of the route, and every 10 minutes between Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport town centre, Levenshulme and Manchester. The route mainly follows the length of the A6, serving Manchester, Ardwick, Longsight, Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel, Stockport town centre, Heaviley, Great Moor, Stepping Hill and Hazel Grove. The service is busy for a number of reasons. It is the fastest bus route between Stockport and Manchester, Stockport being one of the largest settlements in Greater Manchester. The A6 road, consisting of Stockport Road, Wellington Road North and South, Buxton Road and London Road, is home to hundreds of businesses, public services, and homes. The service also serves poorer areas such as Ardwick, Longsight and Levenshulme, which have low levels of car ownership giving the service its popularity.
The route dates from 1889, as a tram service eventually numbered 35. Renumbered to 92 in 1948 when it became a bus route, it was operated by Manchester and Stockport Corporations. In 1969, it was renumbered 192 following government reorganisation and the establishment of SELNEC (later GMPTE). With bus deregulation in 1986, the service was operated by a variety of companies, the most prominent being GM Buses. This later became GM Buses South, and soon after was bought by the Stagecoach Group, becoming Stagecoach Manchester who have operated services since.
The history of this service lies back to the days of horse-drawn trams, when a service from Torkington Road, approximately half a mile from the Rising Sun in Hazel Grove, commenced in 1889. It was operated by Stockport Carriage and Tramway Co Ltd, with vehicles purchased from the Manchester Carriage and Tramways Company. By 1905, the Council had purchased the line, and electrified it. By 1911 the line was completed to Hazel Grove, though still not a through service to Manchester. When the full route to Manchester commenced, it was initially numbered 35, with the Manchester terminus at Exchange. It actually received the number 92 on 10 January 1949, when tramway service was withdrawn, and the Manchester terminus moved to Piccadilly. It was owned and operated jointly by Manchester and Stockport Corporations. On 1 November 1969, following the Transport Act 1968, both municipal operations, along with others, merged to form SELNEC. Within a short space of time, the route number was changed to 192. Over the next 17 years, the operator's title changed form from SELNEC, to Greater Manchester Transport, to Greater Manchester Buses.
Following bus deregulation in Great Britain on 26 October 1986, the route was taken over by GM Buses, and other operators such as Finglands and Wall's Coaches introduced rival 192 services. On 31 December 1993, GM Buses was split into two, GM Buses North and GM South Buses, the latter of which became the main operator of the 192 route.
The service begins near to Piccadilly Gardens on the road towards Manchester Piccadilly station; on the return to Manchester, it terminates in Piccadilly Gardens itself. From here, it runs south-east towards the A6. It passes first through Ardwick, then Longsight, Levenshulme, Heaton Chapel and Stockport. Finally it passes through Heaviley, Great Moor, Stepping Hill and Hazel Grove, terminating at a bus terminus near to the Rising Sun pub.
In addition to the full route, which is run every 10 minutes or more during the day, there are numerous part-routes that are run: every 10 minutes between Stockport and Manchester all day (most of these are being extended to Stockport College from the 7th April); every 10 minutes between Levenshulme and Manchester in the afternoon and early evening; and journeys in the early morning and late night between Hazel Grove and Stockport. A further hospital bus serving Stepping Hill Hospital grounds also runs every 10 minutes all day. These part routes mean that the busiest part of the route is between Levenshulme and Manchester, with a bus coming on average every 2.5 minutes. Stagecoach have also been shown to display on their buses (from 2013) that there are 'up to 18 buses per hour' The £11.3m introduction of electric hybrid buses from 23rd March 2012 also will help reduce carbon emissions by 30%. Around 187,000 passengers a week who use this service will be provided with a more economically friendly service. 
A night service is provided on the 192 route on the full route on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays every 10 minutes, until 3:40 am (in Manchester) and 2:55 am (in Hazel Grove).
The 192 used to extend to serve Poynton, but this has since been taken over by other services.
In March 2006, UK North decided to increase the amount of buses by 12 per hour running on the 192 route. The route was already well-used and busy with buses coming at least every 10 minutes. Stagecoach, the other operator, responded by increasing services too, and introducing their Magic Bus service along the route to compete with the lower-priced UK North. These actions resulted in the route becoming overly congested to the point of being dangerous, and forced buses to queue behind each other waiting for passengers. The situation ceased in December 2006 when UK North had its bus licence terminated due to concerns over the safety of its vehicles, and the standard of training given to its drivers.
According to the Stagecoach Group, the route is the busiest in Britain, with around 9 million passengers carried annually, and GMPTE has designated the A6 as a quality bus corridor. The 192 is also noted by Stagecoach as being a problematic bus route with regards to anti-social behaviour, and CCTV cameras were installed on them. In October 2008, the 192 route was the first in the country to have solar-powered on-street ticket machines. The machines cost around £80,000 and were installed by Stagecoach and GMPTE for a 12-month trial, enabling tickets to be bought beforehand, saving time when boarding the bus.
The 192 bus is the subject of a musical album by singer Dave Hulston, who was born in Longsight. The album is named "Willow and the 192" and according to the Manchester Evening News was set to be released in the summer of 2007.
- Ian Yearsley and Philip Groves, The Manchester Tramways, TPC 1988.
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