Manchester bus vandalism hotspots revealed including Beswick and Tameside

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Youth-related anti-social behaviour and vandalism on buses and trams has been increasing in the city-region.

The hotspots around Greater Manchester where buses are vandalised by ‘idiots’ have been revealed. It comes as youth-related anti-social behaviour and vandalism on buses and trams has been increasing in the city-region.

But children and young people have also said they often feel unsafe using public transport with some missing out on after school clubs for this reason, according to one Manchester councillor. Young women in particular feel uncomfortable reporting incidents to drivers, Coun Tracey Rawlins said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In September, GMP flooded the public transport network as part of Operation Avro which aims to reduce criminality in every borough of Greater Manchester. Similar surge operations are planned later this year, but councillors have said that sweeping public transport hubs a few times a year will not be enough.

Working with the police, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) launched a new TravelSafe campaign last month aimed at tackling the issue of youth-related anti-social behaviour and vandalism on public transport. But speaking to councillors on Friday (March 10), One Bus chief executive Gary Nolan who represents bus operators in the city-region said more investment is neeed.

Addressing the bus services sub-committee, he named four ‘hotspots’ for bus vandalism in Greater Manchester – Hattersley, Tameside, Little Hulton and Beswick by the Etihad stadium. However, he insisted that ‘buses are safe’.

He said: “I think it’s fair to say over 99 % of incidents by less than 1 % of the idiots out there – that’s the problem that we’ve got. If we can focus on those particular individuals, we can wipe out quite a lot of the problems out there.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Last year, bosses at Diamond said the bus company spent £115,000 repairing smashed windows. Five buses were smashed up over three nights in Little Hulton in November with incidents blamed on children from a local school.

However, Mr Nolan said the bus operator has successfully worked with the school to tackle the issue which saw a ‘spike’ in February, but has since fallen. Nevertheless, he said that more resources are needed to tackle the issue.

He called for culprits to be named and shamed, but acknowledged that this could encourage others to carry out similar acts. Transport unit inspector Stephen Griffin also said that GMP would not publicly shame children.

The GMP boss was also asked about an announcement by mayor Andy Burnham last year that the public transport network would effectively be treated in the same way as boroughs, describing it as the ’11th district’. Representatives from the TravelSafe Partnership – which is led by GMP and TfGM – explained that this approach applies to Operation Avro which saw two days of ‘intense activity’ across every transport hub in Greater Manchester in September with another similar but smaller surge undertaken in December.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Stockport councillor David Mellor said he supports the operation, but argued that ‘sweeping through’ the network a few times a year is not enough. But inspector Griffin told the committee that the operations have a lasting impact.

He said: “When there’s an [Operation] Avro on the transport network, there are resources from the whole of GMP working on the transport network. It works on that day, but then that gets more involvement from the neighbourhood teams to work on their interchanges rather than saying that’s the transport unit area’s bit of business, it’s not the neighbourhoods.

“It’s getting that focus from a lot more units. It has a bit of legacy after it happens, they won’t just say, ‘oh I won’t be going back to the transport network for another 10 months now’, it’s sort of getting all those different groups engaged. That’s the way it was described to me.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.