Operators step in to save withdrawing Manchester services
New operators for services due to withdraw in Greater Manchester have been announced.
After a bidding process, Go North West will operate the 163, 520, 561/62 and 575 (previously run by Diamond) services while Diamond will operate the 527 (previously run by Vision). The services will be run with a subsidy from Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), with funding partially coming from money allocated to the city-region from the Bus Recovery Grant (BRG) and Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP). Diamond will continue to operate the 21 service on a commercial basis.
The buses will largely run to existing timetables except for the 163, which will have a slightly reduced frequency with buses running every 15 minutes, instead of 12.
“…I hope this decision will reassure passengers that their bus service is safe and demonstrates our long-term commitment to improving public transport through the Bee Network” – Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The prospect of these bus services being withdrawn has understandably been a worry for people who rely on them to get around.
“In this instance, it was predominantly passengers in Bolton who were going to be affected, and with bus franchising now on the horizon for the borough, it is important that people have access to a stable and reliable network.
“I would like to reiterate that we have heard loud and clear the concerns from residents and I hope this decision will reassure passengers that their bus service is safe and demonstrates our long-term commitment to improving public transport through the Bee Network.”
The move follows similar steps taken last year when the city-region moved to save dozens of bus routes and services that were set to be withdrawn or reduced by operators.