Manchester Selects Final Operators for Bee Network Bus Services

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded contracts to Metroline, Stagecoach, Diamond Bus and Go North West for the final round of Bee Network bus services.

The selected operators will run services in Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and remaining parts of Manchester and Salford from 5 January 2025. This move will see all buses across Greater Manchester operate under local control.

Bee Network rolled out in Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, Salford and north Manchester
Franchised Bee Network buses in Greater Manchester

Currently, around 50 percent of services are franchised under the Bee Network. These operate in Wigan and Bolton and Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and parts of north Manchester.

Now, a total of nine new franchises across the south of Greater Manchester will also come under local control. These will cover 248 different services.

Metroline will operate four of the five large franchises, while Stagecoach will operate the fifth.

In addition, Diamond Bus has been awarded contracts to run three of the four small franchises and Go North West will run the remaining one.

As part of the Bee Network, these operators will be accountable for service quality with customer-focused performance targets focused on punctuality and reliability.

Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), Eamonn Boylan, said:

“Awarding the last round of franchised contracts is a major milestone towards delivering the Bee Network. That ambition is central to our devolution journey. It’s exciting to think that in around nine months’ time all bus services across the whole of Greater Manchester will be under local control and accountable to the people they serve.

“We look forward to working with the winning bidders over the coming months as we prepare to deliver this positive change for people and businesses in Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and the rest of Manchester and Salford from January next year.”

As part of this final phase, 120 new fully accessible electric buses will also be delivered.

What’s more, changes to the network will involve more frequent, earlier, and later running services and better connections to first and last tram and train services.

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