First Manchester hybrids hit the road

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A new hybrid bus travelling on Service 18 between Manchester and Langley
A new hybrid bus travelling on Service 18 between Manchester and Langley

Fourteen new Wrightbus hybrid buses introduced to north Manchester bus route

Fourteen new hybrid buses are currently being put into service on First Manchester’s route 18 from Manchester to Langley on the Manchester New Road and Rochdale Road bus corridors.

These new vehicles represent a total investment of over £4m, which has been made possible through joint funding from First and the government’s Green Bus Fund.

The new buses are Volvo hybrid D5LH double deckers with Wright bus Eclipse Gemini bodywork and have high quality E-leather Lazzerini Pratico 2840 high back seats, providing greater capacity than the route’s current vehicles.

First and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) said the introduction of the new buses is an important step in helping to support economic growth, by supporting improved access to jobs in the Harpurhey, Blackley, Middleton and Langley communities, as well as lowering carbon emissions.

Ken Poole, service delivery director for First in Manchester, said: “This multi-million pound investment in new environmentally-friendly buses is a major boost for North Manchester and demonstrates our commitment to improving services for our customers by working closely with Transport for Greater Manchester.

“I believe this investment in the latest technology will bring a real boost to public transport in Manchester and provide greater choice for people and businesses in local communities.

“These vehicles provide a credible alternative to some car journeys and offer people choice when they are travelling into and out of Manchester.”

Councillor Mark Aldred, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee’s bus network and TfGM services sub committee, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming these new hybrid vehicles to Manchester.

“This represents the future of the bus industry with clear benefits for the environment and the local economy. These buses will produce less pollution and be much quieter, and they should encourage more people to travel to and from North Manchester by bus.”

Over the next few weeks First said there will be a targeted promotional campaign along the routes to raise local awareness of the new buses. Local stakeholders are also being invited to take trips on the buses.

Contact First Greater Manchester on 01224 650100 or log on to www. firstgroup.com/ukbus/greater_ manchester