Go-Ahead prepares to run Bee Network
Final preparations are being made by the Go-Ahead Group to run Manchester’s first Bee Network buses this weekend. The franchised services are due to begin on Sunday 24 September on 50 routes in Bolton and Wigan.
More than 1,000 colleagues at Go-Ahead’s Go North West operating company are involved in a team effort to run the yellow-branded buses, which mark the start of Transport for Greater Manchester’s Bee Network.
Mobilisation efforts have been underway for ten months since the award of a contract to Go North West by TfGM. Go North West is taking over two depots from outgoing operators (Arriva and Diamond) and buses will be swapped out, with fully trained new drivers in place, overnight.
Bee Network buses will replace Manchester’s six bus brands over the next 18 months. This weekend is the first of three phases in which buses across Greater Manchester will change over to the new branding. Six liveries from legacy bus companies will eventually disappear.
Of the Bolton and Wigan fleet, 50 buses are zero-emission electric vehicles.
We’ve been working around the clock for months on a mammoth operation – every vehicle, every depot and every driver needs to be ready” – Nigel Featham, Managing Director, Go North West
Nigel Featham, Managing Director, Go North West, said: “It’s all change for Manchester’s buses and we have a team of over 1,000 people ready to go this weekend. We’ve been working around the clock for months on a mammoth operation – every vehicle, every depot and every driver needs to be ready.
“We are determined to deliver world class public transport for a world class city. Go-Ahead is proud to be working with the Mayor and with Transport for Greater Manchester over this exciting changeover weekend.”