The 14 started on 15th May 1929 as a Manchester to Uppermill service. Only two months later it was combined with the operation of the 13 by running as a circular, avoiding the need for reversing in Uppermill. It was worked, like the 13, by Oldham, Manchester and North Western.
Originally it terminated in Lower Mosley Street Bus Station in Manchester but moved to Parker St. Bus Station, along with the 13, from the day that opened on 25th October 1931. From this point the histories of the two services are virtually identical until more recent years, so for details please refer to the 13 service history.
On 25th February 2001 the operational link between the 183 and 184 services in Uppermill was broken and certain journeys on the 184 were extended to Diggle, which had previously been served by the 427.
A more significant change came on 31st October 2004, as part of the large-scale reorganisation of Saddleworth services. The 184 became a key service with four buses an hour. Two of these terminate in Uppermill, one continues to Diggle via Dobcross and the other continues to Huddersfield.
This latter was a big break with the past and caused the 184 to become a joint service as First Huddersfield became involved in the operation, their 365 Oldham to Huddersfield service having finished on the same date. As well as taking a different route out of Uppermill to the Diggle buses, going straight up Wool Road and avoiding Dobcross village, it also goes right through Diggle village (instead of using the A670 and A62 as the 365 did) and uses a road which had not previously been used by full size service buses. (The Sunday 365 went that way, but it was normally worked by mini or midibuses).
In Marsden the service originally made a detour to serve the Hard End area, but this only lasted a few months (having led to some operational problems) and the service stuck with the main road from 31st January 2005.
The 365 had survived as a Sunday service but that rather illogical situation ceased as the 184 started to run through to Huddersfield on Sundays from 23rd April 2006.
From 28th October 2012 the 184 timetable changed in two significant ways. Firstly operation by First Huddersfield ceased from that date with all operation of the core service being from First’s Oldham garage. Secondly, a more frequent service (eight buses an hour combined with the 180) was introduced between Manchester and Grotton during the daytime, with many services terminating at Grotton - a change that saw one less bus per hour reaching Uppermill. This frequent service only lasted until 25th January 2015 when a revised timetable was introduced. Although there were still eight buses per hour, two were between Manchester and Oldham only to fill the gap in stopping services left by the limited-stop X80 service. Grotton ceased to be used as a regular terminus and Uppermill was once again reached by four buses an hour.
The bulk of the service has always been worked by the original operators or their successors (SELNEC, GMT, GM Buses, First). Other operators have been:
Stott's Tours - worked school journeys to and from Saddleworth School by 1989, finished by 3rd October 1993, then afternoon school journey from Saddleworth School from September 2009. These were not indicated in the timetables as being operated by Stott’s between March 2012 and October 2012 but this is believed to be in error as they are shown in the school bus service timetables and operation has continued to date
North Western - worked school journeys from Saddleworth School by 1989, finished by 1991
Rosso - worked school journeys from Saddleworth School from September 2013 to date
Due to the number of photographs I have of the 184, I have created two collections, one for each direction. This makes it easier to follow the route pictorially.
© David Beilby