Bee Network: Go-Ahead bus drivers to travel from across UK to help out with Greater Manchester launch

A total of 85 drivers have been borrowed from Go-Ahead and over £40 million has been invested in the Bee Network

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Bus drivers from as far away as Cornwall and Brighton are coming to Greater Manchester to help launch the Bee Network. Go North West has borrowed a total of 85 drivers from its sister company Go-Ahead. 

The drivers will be driving across Greater Manchester for the first three months after the Bee network launch. They will be behind the wheel of services across Bolton and Wigan from 5am on Sunday September 24. 

Go-Ahead and Transport for Greater Manchester have invested in 102 new buses, of which 50 are zero-emission electric vehicles. These will form part of an overall fleet of 320 vehicles to be mobilised on Sunday, branded in yellow Bee Network colours.

The launch of the Bee Network will be the culmination of months of preparation and anticipation across the region. The first bus out on the landmark day will leave Bolton's bus depot at 5.07am. 

Nigel Featham, Managing Director, Go North West, said: “This is a big day for transport in Manchester and we’re delighted to have colleagues from across the UK helping us. So if you get on a Bee Network bus this weekend and hear an unfamiliar accent behind the wheel, don’t be surprised.

“These drivers will tide us over while we train hundreds of home-grown new drivers in Manchester who are going through our bus driver academy. Everyone behind the wheel of a bus will be extensively route trained and familiar with tickets, vehicles and customer service. We’re proud to be running 102 brand new buses, and we look forward to delivering exceptional public transport for Manchester.”

The Bee Network is ready for launchThe Bee Network is ready for launch
The Bee Network is ready for launch

Go-Ahead companies which have loaned drivers include:

  • Go Cornwall Bus

  • Plymouth Citybus

  • Bluestar (Southampton)

  • Morebus (Bournemouth)

  • Southern Vectis (Isle of Wight)

  • Oxford Bus Company

  • Go-Ahead London

  • Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus 

  • East Yorkshire Buses

  • Konectbus (Norfolk)

  • Hedingham & Chambers (Essex)

  • Go North East (Tyne & Wear)