Stagecoach Manchester supports local efforts to tackle antisocial behaviour on public transport

Posted: 12 July 2023 | | No comments yet

Stagecoach Manchester has partnered with TfGM to introduce a mobile youth zone at Bolton Interchange, combating youth-related antisocial behaviour on public transport and providing a safe and engaging space for young individuals.

Stagecoach Manchester supports new mobile youth zone to tackle antisocial behaviour

Credit: Stagecoach Manchester

Stagecoach Manchester has announced that it is collaborating with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Foundation 92 in the unveiling of a new mobile youth zone at Bolton Interchange. This initiative is part of Operation AVRO, aimed at tackling youth-related antisocial behaviour on public transport in Greater Manchester.

To meet the increasing demand for Foundation 92’s services, TfGM has acquired a decommissioned Stagecoach bus. Thanks to funding from the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, the bus has been transformed into an expanded mobile youth zone, providing young people with a safe and engaging environment. Equipped with interactive games, table sports, refreshments and a relaxation area, the bus offers an attractive space for young individuals to socialise and have fun.

The official launch of the bus took place during Greater Manchester Police’s Operation AVRO, demonstrating the company’s commitment to addressing crime and antisocial behaviour on the public transport network. The new mobile youth zone will enhance Foundation 92’s capacity to provide a safe space for vulnerable youth and involve them in shaping the Bee Network.

Stagecoach Manchester’s collaboration with Foundation 92 and TravelSafe began as a pilot scheme during the 2022 school summer holidays and has since expanded. Foundation 92’s mobile hub has been deployed 153 times at key locations across the public transport network, engaging with 2,200 young people.

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In addition to the mobile youth zone, the Safer Streets initiative has secured further resources to promote safety and deter antisocial behaviour. This includes providing 30 VR headsets and immersive software training packages to high schools, illustrating the consequences of throwing objects at public transport. Stagecoach Manchester has also supplied two drones to enhance CCTV coverage in remote areas, increasing security and preventing crime. Moreover, provisions such as taxi marshals and Public Space Protection Order enforcement have been strengthened in Bolton.

Vernon Everitt, Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester, said: “Foundation 92 and their hardworking team have become a crucial part of the TravelSafe Partnership, engaging with around 2,000 young people in communities across our region. They have been so effective that often their mobile youth hub has become overwhelmed with the level of interest shown by young people, so I am delighted that the TravelSafe Partnership has come together to secure funding for this new bus.”

Rebecca Rathore, Operations Director at Stagecoach Manchester, said: “Stagecoach has a proud history of supporting the communities we serve. Having been a partner of TravelSafe since its inception in 2015, we are pleased to collaborate with them and TfGM in supporting Foundation 92 in this project which is making a significant difference in the lives of young people, our customers and our local communities.”