Greater Manchester's new bus franchise to begin next year as £1.2bn investment programme announced

Buses in Manchester
Buses in central Manchester.

Greater Manchester's new London-style public transport is due start in 2023.

The new era of publicly owned bus services will begin in Wigan, Bolton, parts of Salford and west Manchester next Autumn.

Despite objections from bus operators, a judge last week gave the go ahead for the city-region's bus service to go back under public control for the first time in 30 years.

Bus fares will also be capped from next year, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has revealed:

Improving public transport connectivity in Greater Manchester is a key part of proposals for the Bee Network, which subject to government approval, will receive £1.2 billion of funding over five years, with £428m being invested in buses routes and service.

It's hoped people will be able to use tickets on all buses and hop-on and hop-off between services. Credit: Transport for Greater Manchester

Here's a timeline for the roll out of the new bus franchises:

  • Regulated buses first introduced in Bolton and Wigan as well as parts of Salford and west Manchester from next autumn (2023).

  • Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and areas of north Manchester to follow in Spring 2024.

  • Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, south Manchester and remaining parts of Salford to run by end of 2024.

Former Transport for London Managing Director Vernon Everitt has been announced as the new Greater Manchester Transport Commissioner.

Mr Everitt said: "The Bee Network vision sets out a compelling plan for better transport and I will bring all my experience to the table to ensure we deliver it.

"Our integrated transport network will unlock access to opportunity and public services, and drive reduced carbon emissions and improved wellbeing, benefitting everyone who lives, works or visits here."

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: "We are leading the way and developing a blueprint for other city-regions to follow when it comes to improving intra-city transport and connectivity between our villages, towns and cities.

"My ambition is that soon here in Greater Manchester it will be simpler, cheaper and more reliable to get around on public transport."