Go North West celebrates first birthday

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Go North West, Manchester’s newest bus company, has celebrated a year of running buses across the city with a socially-distanced birthday party.

Since Go North West took over operations of First Bus at Manchester’s Queens Road depot on 2 June 2019 the company, which employs 600 people and operates over 180 buses, has invested heavily in modernising the fleet, increased the frequency of key services and brought in new routes. There have also been investments in refurbished vehicle interiors, as well as a sharp focus on timekeeping and reliability. These efforts have sparked a revival in passenger growth across the network.

Go North West marked the occasion with a week of celebrations, finding time to celebrate in a socially-distanced way with local businesses and key workers across the city, recognising 12 of its colleagues with special Queen’s Birthday Honours, and with the unveiling of a giant birthday card highlighting all the achievements the team has made so far.

The operator held a socially-distanced party complete with a giant birthday card

Nigel Featham, Go North West’s Managing Director, said: “A strong public transport offering is vital to Manchester’s future, and the response from passengers to the improvements we are making has been encouraging. The team here, the engineers, the cleaners, the office staff and the drivers, have all made such a tremendous effort to make a real difference for our customers, and I’m pleased to say that the city is already seeing these changes out there on the road.”

“We’ve invested over £3m on improving the fleet with both new and upgraded vehicles, and we’ve also increased the amount of services we offer – in March, pre-COVID, we were operating 5% more miles than the previous year. Over the past few months of lockdown, like many other teams across Greater Manchester and across our industry, we’ve certainly learned that we’re adaptable too, and it’s been humbling to see how powerful our local communities are when everyone pulls together.”

The 12 employees awarded with Queen’s Birthday honours were each given their own framed hand-drawn portrait to mark the special occasion and a video was released covering the social-distanced presentation (https://youtu.be/XFPWiRmW2Wc).​ The artist who was commissioned to capture all the key milestones in the team’s first year on a special 2.3m high birthday card also created a digital version of the artwork coming to life which was shared on Go North West’s employee app and across its social channels (https://youtu.be/vgptwFbX-Tg).

A commemorative brochure was also given to all colleagues and shared with stakeholders across Greater Manchester (https://issuu.com/news-across-the-group/docs/mcr_one_year_24pp_booklet).