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Greater Manchester Buses - Around Manchester
                
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 the buses operating in the towns around Manchester.  The areas and dates covered are: Eccles in 2014, Droylsden, Bury and Altrincham in 2018 and during 2023 the
independent transport videos cameras covered Bolton, Bury and Wigan in May, Middleton, Oldham and Stockport in June and then a return to Bolton, Wigan and Leigh in August 2023, just a few weeks before the ‘Bee Network’ began in September.  There is a good variety of buses to been seen on this programme, bearing in mind that what you see in Bolton and Wigan will change forever once the ‘Bee Network’ begins.
 
Our brief footage in Eccles in 2014 sees a
First Wright Gemini double-decker in the Salford Corporation heritage livery running in service. 
   
In Bury in 2018 we see the operations of Transdev owned
Rosso with a good selection of double-deckers with Plaxton President and East Lancs bodywork.  First was the other main operator here at that time. 
   
In 2023 a lot has changed.  At Bolton the main operators are
Diamond North West, Go North West, Arriva and Vision Bus Ltd.  Look out for the Wright Eclipse Urban 2-bodied Volvo B7RLEs with an air-conditioning pod on their roofs - they started life with Arriva Malta and then operated for Somerset Passenger Solutions before moving to the northwest.  At Bury we see a recently transferred Wright Gemini double-decker from fellow Go Ahead fleet, East Yorkshire.  Wigan is a stronghold for Stagecoach and Arriva, but that will change when the ‘Bee Network’ is introduced.  Middleton features First, Go North West and Stagecoach and we see all three operators in action at the town’s bus station as well as independent operator Stotts.  At Oldham we see Stotts again as well as Stagecoach, but mostly First, with their only depot left in the Manchester area.  We see plenty of action at the bus station and at Mumps, which is adjacent to the First bus depot.  At Stockport we see a good number of Stagecoach’s new ADL Enviro400MMC buses operating on the frequent 192 service to Manchester.
   
Our final visits in August to Bolton, Wigan and Leigh are also interesting in that a number of buses have been painted in the
‘Bee Network’ yellow livery.  At Leigh we see the First Wright Gemini 3-bodied Volvo B5LH hybrids with some still in the striking purple livery for the ‘Vantage’ guided busway, the route terminating at the bus station.  As well as some of the batch already painted in the yellow ‘Bee Network’ livery.  You might be interested in our companion DVD – ‘Greater Manchester Buses – City & Heritage’ which looks at the bus operations in Manchester city centre and preserved buses from the area.


     
 
 Filmed :  2014-2023
   
 Duration :  113 mins
   
 Price :  Within UK - 16
   Rest of world - 18
   
 Format :  DVD -R
   Picture Aspect 16:9
   
 Order Ref :  D439

 

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