Bee Network Buses Commence Service in Bolton and Wigan

A new fleet of Bee Network buses has been rolled out through Bolton and Wigan in Greater Manchester.

This is part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s (TfGM) move to bring bus services under local control, enabling it is define the type of vehicles that can run on the network.

The 67 buses, which are being operated by Diamond, are low-emission models. They have joined 50 zero-emisison units that were introduced in September, with a further 50 set to launch over the coming months.

Bee Network brings benefits to bus passengers as new fleet takes to the streets
Bee Network brings benefits to bus passengers as new fleet takes to the streets

Under a contract for Diamond to run locally controlled services, passengers are now expected to experience improvements such as frequent services and more modern vehicles.

The fleet is also serving communities that were previously not prioritised by operators before franchising, with companies previously targeting busier, more profibale routes. However, the new routes remain equally as valuable, often providing the only access to public transport that some communities have.

Transport Commissioner, Vernon Everitt said:

“Building the Bee Network is about delivering benefits to bus passengers across Greater Manchester. Key to that is the provision of these modern, accessible and environmentally friendly buses on routes providing vital access to public services and leisure facilities for local communities in Bolton and Wigan. And all of them have been built in the UK. It’s great to see them about to take to the road.”

The new single-deck vehicles have been built by Alexander Dennis to Bee Network standards. They feature improved accessibility features including two wheelchair spaces and real-time audiovisual passenger information. They also offer air conditioning and USB chargers for passenger comfort and convenience.

In addiiton, the vehicles are equipped with a new radio system to enable operators to communicate with drivers.

Rotala Chief Executive, Simon Dunn, said:

“Following the award of franchises by Transport for Greater Manchester, Alexander Dennis offered us the right combination of versatile vehicles and production capabilities for these 67 single deck buses. Their entry into service this year has given us a state-of-the-art low emission fleet for our Diamond North West operations.”

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