Clipper Card – Manchester Bus Service – From 1991

2 Dec

Manchester Bus Clipper Card from 1991. Courtesy D. Boothman.

This is a Manchester bus service Clipper Card from 1991, which was launched in December 1979 by Greater Manchester Transport.

The Clipper Card offered 10 bus journeys for the price of 9, which the traveller would ‘clip-off’ in the self-cancelling machines which were installed on every bus.

Almex M self cancelling ticket (clipper card) machine. Courtesy J. Shaw.

Almex M self cancelling ticket (Clipper Card) machine. Courtesy D. Boothman.

There ease of use, convenience and offer of cost saving travel meant they became very popular throughout Manchester right up until they were replaced in 2004, when electronic recording of passenger journeys was brought in.

The expansion of the school bus network also led to the demise of the Clipper Cards, coupled with a great shift for children to be driven to school by their parents, rather than using the bus service or indeed walking.

The forced break-up of GM Buses by the Conservative Government in the 1990s also impacted greatly on the Clipper Card, as the UK Government wanted to streamline the system and essentially make more money from the bus services and so implemented their long held belief that privatisation rather than public ownership was the way forward.

This built upon the Conservative Governments deregulation of the transport system in 1980 and the Transport Act of 1985, which took power and operations away from councils and local transport authorities and into private hands, the result of which has seen a monopoly of the system by a small number of companies and regular increases in fares above inflation.


15 Responses to “Clipper Card – Manchester Bus Service – From 1991”

  1. Kala Green July 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi I’m looking for the yellow bus tickets they used to have, but would love a rolls of it. My Dad used to be a bus driver years ago and my childhood memories was Dad bringing home roll ends and I would make a ticket machine from an old box and pretend to be a bus driver.

    Anyway I have a small little business (Kie Gifts) and make Memory Boxes for people with Dementia and I wanted to make one for my Dad. I have other bits in there already but my Dad used to find it funny when i put his hat on and pretended to be a ticket conductor lol.

    Any help will be much appreciated.


    Kala Green


    • historyme August 24, 2014 at 9:57 am #

      HI Kala. Very nice to hear from you.

      Your project sounds fantastic.

      I will look through the HistoryME archives and see what there is in there.


    • historyme August 31, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      Hi Kala. Could you drop me an email address so I can contact you. Very interested in helping out anyway I can.


  2. Heikki Koponen June 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Hi. Do you have or know where I could get a copy of Almex M manual? I own one of those legendary machines and I’d like to put it on good purpose =) Especially I’m interested in what to do with all three power wires


    • historyme June 9, 2014 at 10:54 am #

      Hi Heikki

      Very nice to hear from you. I will have a look through my archive files as I’m sure I have a manual somewhere. Will get back to you. Would it be possible to send me some pictures of your machine so I could add them.


      • Steffen July 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

        I realize this thread is somewhat old, but I’ll give it a try anyway. I am also looking for a copy of an Almex M manual. Same as Heikki, I need to know what the different wires are for.
        I hope you can help me!


      • Rúben Viegas January 23, 2018 at 12:25 am #

        Hi, good article. I also got an Almex M ticket machine and I’m desperately looking for a manual so I can figure out the electrics. I hope to put this baby in service again. Thanks in advance!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steffen Sparvath January 27, 2018 at 8:41 am #

        Hi Rúben, sorry to say I never got an answer to my post.. Ant I still haven’t been able to find a manual 😦
        I contacted who sells and does restoration of Almex M in Denmark, but they were not willing to send me a copy of the manual.


      • Mindtheramp January 27, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

        Hi Steffen, it’s a sad outcome but thanks for trying and leaving a reply. 😦
        I already felt it is very hard to find information about the Almex M on the internet. I guess I’ll keep mine as it is since I’m not willing to risk frying its electrics.


      • Steffen Sparvath January 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

        I’ll be opening mine up to look at the inside at some point, when I can find the time.. I’ll try to remember to post it here, if I find out anything useful.


      • Heikki February 4, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

        I took a chance and tried to connect my Almex with an old 12V transformer (yes I know I should have gotten 24V but that 12V was only available) and after several attempts it hardly worked – once. I don’t know what I did different between attempts so I can’t help you. I’m just so happy that I saw light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe I’ll try with 24V transformer if that helps. Does anyone know what sort of transformer I should buy?


      • Rúben Viegas February 11, 2018 at 12:18 pm #

        I contacted for details about the Almex M and they said they could sell me a wiring system and transformer. But when I asked for a price, they stopped replying.
        So, no details and no parts. Great…


  3. Clare September 15, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Hi, I would really like to get hold of a clippercard or two for nostalgic gifts for friends. Any idea how I would go about that?


    • historyme September 25, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

      Hi Clare. I know they come up on eBay every so often. I sure you could pick up one off there and then get it copied. Alternatively, you could use the photos above and again make copies, with a bit tweaking on Photoshop.


    • Andy Evans June 13, 2015 at 8:24 am #

      I have two clipper cards in great condition in a platic wallet, please let me know if you are still looking for them.


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