Since 19 April, Diamond Bus North West (DBNW) has been operating services on an emergency tender to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) following the closure of Manchester Community Transport (MCT).
The contract initially used six buses, seven days per week running on ten routes around Stockport. Since 14 June, those services became more frequent, now requiring 10 buses. This will continue until 25 July, when TfGM will introduce service revisions on a permanent basis. The 19 April also saw DBNW inherit the tender for service 217 from Manchester Piccadilly to Ashton-under-Lyne from MCT as part of a pre-planned change. As a result of these service changes, the DBNW brand has expanded into the Tameside and Stockport boroughs for the first time, meaning Diamond now has a presence in all of the Manchester boroughs except Oldham.
DBNW said that the work, which was awarded at very short noticed, placed considerable pressure on both the company’s back office and depot staff, but in a period of little over two weeks, the service was mobilised including service registrations, ticket machine and destination blind programming, scheduling of buses and drivers, route learning, and route risk assessments. To assist in this, DBNW took on a number of drivers from MCT.
DBNW said that since the services commenced, it has received nothing but praise from the local communities who could otherwise have been left without any buses. Bob Dunn, Managing Director of DBNW, commented: “It’s fantastic to see our team pick up the task of delivering these services at short notice. I offer a sincere thank you to our operational, diving and maintenance team for their great work. We have had few issues and the services are now being operated to a high standard.”