Extra buses laid on for Manchester city centre commuters
Extra buses are set to be laid on for commuters using a popular busway - after early morning passengers left seats at a premium.
Travellers in Leigh, Atherton and Hindley are packing out the V1 and V2 services heading into Manchester city centre each day.
And passengers in parts of Salford are finding themselves facing the fact it’s often standing room only on the Vantage buses.
Now it has been announced that, from September, five additional buses will be offered, halfway along the route.
Plans have been confirmed for four more vehicles, leaving Ellenbrook at 0659, 0706, 0715 and 0744.
Another bus is being laid on from the Wardley park and ride area, off the East Lancs Road, departing at 0809.
Two other V1 and V2 buses will be extended beyond the city centre to Manchester Royal Infirmary.
While most vehicles will display the well-known purple livery, the odd departure will be a ‘standard’ service and rebranded as a V4 bus.
An estimated 54,000 people use the busway, on average, each week, according to the operators.
Ian Humphreys, First Manchester’s managing director, said: “A clear message from customers has been a call for more seats to be made available during the morning peak and I’m therefore pleased to announce that from September we will be adding extra trips to the timetable, under the new V4 service.
“In addition to this announcement, First Manchester is continuing to support the Vantage service by creating a video to demonstrate the accessibility of the bus for customers with disabilities.
“Customers can experience an interactive virtual tour of the bus and bus stops along the route, as well as see what to expect when boarding and travelling on Vantage buses. The video aims to make travelling easier and reduce anxiety for new customers.”
Coun Roger Jones, Transport for Greater Manchester services sub-committee chairman, added: “Following on from the provision of two extra morning peak services in April this year, the demand for even further capacity is a clear indication of the continued success of the Vantage bus services.
“These extra buses are great news for passengers and will hopefully encourage even more people to join the 54,000 passengers already using Vantage every week.
“If more people are encouraged to leave their cars at home and use our transport networks – and have a good experience doing so – then we can really help to improve air quality and, in turn, people’s health.”