Stotts Tours (Oldham)
|Service area||Greater Manchester|
|Service type||Bus services|
|Routes||6 (October 2013)|
|Fleet||32 (September 2013)|
Stotts is a family-owned company, which was established in 1963 in Oldham as a coach business.
1986 to 1997
When deregulation was introduced in 1986, Stotts decided to enter the bus service market. Two former West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive buses were initially purchased followed by three former South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive Daimler Fleetlines. Later a large fleet of former Greater Manchester Transport Fleetlines were purchased along with four Fleetlines from the West Midlands. The company would run several services, all based in the Oldham area. The services were:
- 398 Grotton - Lees - Oldham - Hathershaw - Ashton (to compete with GM Buses routes 409 and 427)
- 413 Sholver - Moorside - Oldham - Royton - Thornham (to compete with GM Buses routes 170 and 409)
- 414/424 Oldham - Holts Estate - Lees - Waterhead - Oldham Circulars
- 416/417 Limeside - Oldham - Waterhead - Lees - Oldham - Werneth - Limeside Circulars
- 422 Oldham - Chamber Road - South Chadderton, Butterworth Lane
The 414/424 circulars was the last route started by Stotts for which it purchased four Dodge S56 minibuses from South Yorkshire Transport, Sheffield. It also went on to acquire several Leyland Atlanteans from South Yorkshire and Merseyside to replace the older Fleetlines.
The company was popular with passengers, as they offered cheaper fares than GM Buses, who were the main bus operator in Oldham and Greater Manchester as well as regular drivers who got to know their passengers. The company would continue to operate buses until 1997 when First Manchester purchased some of Stotts services, a restraint of trade clause preventing Stotts from operating route services for five years.
2003 to present
In March 2003, Stotts resumed operating bus services on route 427 between Grotton and Hollinwood via Lees, Oldham and Garden Suburb. Stotts' service competed with First's 427/429 services. First ran a Monday-Saturday daytime service of every 10 minutes, while Stotts' only ran every 20 minutes, with some services during the day not running, so it could run school bus services, which it had been doing for a few years before.
Stotts also ran some contracted services from July 2003, funded by GMPTE in Stockport for a couple of years before losing the contract to Speedwellbus. They were routes 307/308 (Stockport - Cheadle - Bramhall - Hazel Grove) Circulars services and 390 (Stockport - Hazel Grove - Poynton - Woodford - Bramhall).
After that, Stotts concentrated on route 427 service plus school services in the Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside areas. One tactic that Stotts used on route 427 to compete with First was to introduce a maximum fare of 70p, nearly half that of First. In 2006, Stotts would have to increase that fare, due to increased fuel costs to £1.20, still slightly cheaper than First.
First were obviously concerned by Stotts' presence on route 427. In October 2004, First amended their services with routes 427 and 429 replaced by routes 180 and 184, continuing to run the 10-minute frequency between Grotton and Hollinwood, with buses continuing to Manchester and Saddleworth or Huddersfield. First also introduced a 20-minute weekday 184 service between Grotton and Hollinwood. The combination of First's 180 and 184 services and Stotts' 427 service saw a bus running every 5 minutes between Grotton and Hollinwood.
After four years, Stotts' 427 service was still running, although the Saturday service was withdrawn in 2007. First's 184 service between Grotton and Hollinwood had changed to run as a 183 running between Grotton and Limeside. In January 2008 Stotts ceased operating route 427. However, in May 2008 Stotts regained route 390 in the Stockport, and in July 2008 gained route 364 from Stagecoach Manchester.
Former services run by Stotts from 2003:
- 307/308 Stockport - Cheadle - Bramhall - Hazel Grove, withdrawn in 2005
- 337 Ashton under Lyne - Crowhill - Ashton Moss - Ashton under Lyne Circular, merged with route 41 on 1 June 2010
- 353/4 Ashton under Lyne - Stalybridge - Heyheads - Mossley - Uppermill, passed to First Greater Manchester after re-tender
- 390 Stockport - Hazel Grove - Poynton - Bramhall, withdrawn in 2005, resumed operation from Speedwellbus in May 2008, Stagecoach Manchester operating all journeys from September 2009
- 427 Grotton - Lees - Oldham - Garden Suburb - Hollinwood, withdrawn from 3 January 2008
When Stotts appeared on the scene in Greater Manchester in the 1970s/1980s, many factories and mills were still operating and Stotts operated a number of employee transport contacts. The decline in industry throughout the late 20th century meant many of these contacts were not renewed as many factories and mills shut down, however there is still one contact. Stotts operate a contract for Scott Mills in Greenfield in the afternoons.
As at October 2013 Stotts operated six bus routes.
As at September 2013 the fleet consisted of 32 buses.
- Companies House extract company no 758813 Stotts Tours (Oldham )Limited
- "Transport for Greater Manchester - Buses - Latest Service Changes". Transport for Greater Manchester. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Manchester - Changes to services 309, 310, 313, 317 and 364". Stagecoach Manchester. Retrieved 21 June 2008.
- Bus Services Stotts Tours
- Manchester Independents North West Buses