Stagecoach Manchester secures franchise contracts for city region’s Bee Network

Posted: 27 June 2023 | | No comments yet

Stagecoach Manchester secures the transfer of Middleton, Queens Road and Oldham depots starting from March 2024, with 87 routes operated by a fleet of 349 buses, and involving the transition of 947 employees.

Stagecoach Manchester secures franchise contracts for city region's Bee Network

Credit: Stagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester has announced that it has been awarded all three major franchise contracts in the recent round of franchising by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). 

Starting from 24 March 2024, Stagecoach Manchester will assume responsibility for bus services operating from Middleton, Queens Road and Oldham depots as part of the comprehensive Bee Network plan. The Bee Network aims to establish an integrated transport system to cater to the transportation needs of Greater Manchester residents.

As per the contract terms, Stagecoach Manchester will manage a network of 87 routes served by a fleet of 349 buses. Existing employees at Stagecoach’s Middleton Depot will retain their employment, while 947 employees from the current operators of Queens Road and Oldham Depots will transfer to Stagecoach Manchester.

Greater Manchester introduces cheaper and integrated Bee Network fares

Lee Wasnidge, Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: “We are extremely proud to have been chosen for these contracts and are looking forward to providing exceptional bus services to customers across North Manchester. We have a fantastic team who have a proud history of serving the communities in Greater Manchester, and we are honoured to be entrusted with the responsibility of delivering reliable and high-quality services whilst maintaining crucial transport links for the people in our region.”

In addressing the staff currently employed at the depots transitioning to Stagecoach’s operation, Wasnidge has extended a warm welcome. He assured them that Stagecoach Manchester values their contributions and is committed to facilitating a smooth and positive transition. The company will work closely with their current employers to provide support throughout the process.

The final round of franchising contracts is expected to be awarded in Spring 2024, with the complete Bee Network projected to be fully operational by January 2025. This significant step toward an integrated transport system aims to benefit Greater Manchester residents by improving connectivity and accessibility across the region.