First’s Manchester ‘revolution’
In what it describes as a ‘revolution’ for the city’s bus services, First has introduced 18 new Wrightbus Streetlites into Manchester. The new buses feature Wi-fi connectivity and leather seats. They are based at its new depot on Wilmslow Road in Rusholme, which it recently acquired from Finglands.
From 27 April, the operator will put the Streetlites onto a new Cross City service operating between East Didsbury (South Manchester) and Crumpsall (North Manchester). This will link the North Manchester General Hospital with Hospitals and Universities on Oxford Road. It will run every ten minutes Monday to Saturday daytime and every 30 minutes in the evenings and on Sundays, increasing bus frequency on this route. There will also be a night bus service until 03.30 from Manchester to East Didsbury (Monday to Saturday).
According to First, these developments support Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) Bus Priority plans to develop cross city bus routes through the city in the next two years. All existing Finglands buses have now been taken off the road and replaced by a 38 strong First vehicle fleet, including these 18 new vehicles. This represents a £4m investment by First and will create an extra 50 bus driver jobs.