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As long as the joint operation was on an equal shared income basis the practice, though officially frowned on, did not work to the financial detriment of the employers of the "lazy" crew.Another trick was to load the bus at the first few stops so that the three bells code was given and, in rush hours, the crews would have an easy time with few stops, few fares to collect after the first trip around the bus and they could still dawdle as they had to keep to timings, yet could legitimately drive in a stately fashion past lines waiting for a bus with room.
To me, they – and the spirited manner in which they were usually driven – were the very essence of Salford.
Therefore if a bus in Bolton had shown Salford as its destination, where would it be going?
The reason for the location of Victoria Bus Station (and the Greengate terminus across the road, where most of the longer distance services went from) was to get passengers to Manchester without the buses themselves having to cross the boundary.
I think the worst example of this I ever came across was much more recently, when I saw a GM Buses North vehicle somewhere between Bury and Ramsbottom showing "Arndale" (Arndale being the name of a Manchester bus station at that time, never mind the fact that there were Arndale shopping centres in other locations as well).
The city of Manchester, unlike many other cities, was surrounded by a large number of historically older authorities (the Hundred of Salford outdates Manchester as an area of local government by 900 or so years and once incorporated the whole of Manchester) and these have always fought against being subsumed into what became the leading industrial, financial and legislative authority in the area whilst in many ways being dependant on the city for the provision of regionally useful services and places of employment.