The first new Greater Manchester yellow buses hit the streets


The mayor of Greater Manchester said the changes would make life easier for passengers but would take time to complete.

The first of Greater Manchester’s new yellow buses has hit the region’s roads six months ahead of the official launch of locally controlled services.

The new Bee Network system will give control over fares and routes and will allow low-performing operators to be fined.

Services will start in Bolton, Wigan and parts of Bury and Salford with the whole area changing by 2025.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service said that eventually, all buses in Greater Manchester will be brought to the same standard with audiovisual advertisements and a more accessible design for disabled passengers.

Bus operators have now started marking their buses yellow and the first one hit the streets of Bolton earlier.

The change comes in the week that Greater Manchester signed an agreement with the government that will allow local train services to be integrated into the new network.

The agreement means that starting in 2030, passengers will be able to connect and disconnect when using some rail services, as well as Metrolink buses and streetcars in the region.


Mr Burnham said the move to the new network would soon “come hard and fast”.

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the changes would make life easier for passengers but would take time to complete.

“We are moving from a very different system, which has multiple buses, colors, whatever, on the streets,” he said.

“Going from that to a standardized public transportation system can’t be done in a matter of weeks (or) months, it takes a few years to get there.”

However, he said the change would soon “come hard and fast” as there were “hundreds of buses on order for Greater Manchester, many of them zero emission buses”.

“When we get to September, most of the buses on the road serving Wigan and Bolton will either be new buses or modern buses changing brands,” he said.

“Most of the fleet will be looking for the right standard from day one.”

The new yellow buses will initially also have the names of the operators, but that information will be removed from September 24.

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