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Greater Manchester Buses - City & Heritage
             
The year 2023 marks a significant change to the bus industry in parts of the United Kingdom.  Following on from the Bus Services Act 2017, the first franchised bus services outside of London became operational in Greater Manchester on the 24th September 2023.  Called the ‘Bee Network’ it will be introduced in three tranches, the third and final one being in January 2025. 
   
The first tranche covers the bus services in Bolton and Wigan and affects buses operated by Diamond North West, Go North West, Arriva, Stagecoach, First and independent operator Vision Bus Ltd.  This DVD programme covers Manchester city centre during 2014, 2018, December 2019, March 2022 and May 2023 leading up to the changes that will happen when bus franchising begins in September 2023.  During this period of filming First closed their depots in Bolton, Bury, Manchester Queens Road, Fallowfield and Tameside leaving just their Oldham depot.  Some of the vehicles have transferred to Go North West – a newcomer to Greater Manchester and are based at their former Queens Road depot.  We can see the transition of the buses during this programme.  All this happened in 2019 when another new operator appeared in the city - Diamond North West, part of the Rotala group, with a smart two-tone blue livery with colourful route branding on their fleet of 128 brand new Wright StreetDecks plus other types, their fleet being based in the former First depot in Bolton. Look out for the First Wright Gemini 3-bodied Volvo B5LH hybrids in the striking purple livery for the ‘Vantage’ guided busway.  These buses remained at Bolton, but will transfer to Go North West when bus franchising starts.  The independent transport videos cameras were located in Manchester city centre for the filming of this programme.  Locations include Piccadilly Gardens bus station and the streets adjacent, Shudehill Interchange, Portland Street, Princess Street and other city centre streets. 
   
The second part of this programme takes a look at just some of the heritage vehicles running in service from the superb ‘Museum of Transport, Greater Manchester’ during some of their many open days.  Of course the Manchester area is no stranger to significant changes in its bus operations - in 1969 SELNEC was formed to take over the corporation fleets, in 1974 it became Greater Manchester PTE and then in 1986 deregulation happened and the ‘independent’ operators moved in with some becoming the large groups that we know today.  We take brief rides on former Aston-under-Lyne Corporation Leyland Titan 44 (PTE 944C) and former Manchester Corporation 3629 (UNB 629), a 1959 Leyland Atlantean.  You might be interested in our companion DVD – ‘Greater Manchester Buses – Around Manchester’ which looks at the bus operations in the towns around the city before bus franchising begins.


     
 
 Filmed :  2014-2023
   
 Duration :  72 mins
   
 Price :  Within UK - 16
   Rest of world - 18
   
 Format :  DVD -R
   Picture Aspect 16:9
   
 Order Ref :  D438

 

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