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Fully refurbished, this Wright Gemini-bodied Volvo shows what the rest of the fleet will look like. GO NORTH WEST

After taking over a large part of First Manchester’s network on 2 June, Go North West outlined its route forward at a stakeholder event on 9 July. Jim McWilliam reports on progress so far including the company’s plans to invest £3m in the first year

During recent weeks and months, there has been much nervousness around the future of First’s UK bus operations. However, at Manchester’s Queens Road depot, that future is already starting to look brighter. In the presence of a comprehensively refurbished hybrid Wrightbus-bodied Volvo B5LH, Go North West (GNW) announced plans to invest around £3m to upgrade the fleet and facilities in the company’s first year.

Bought for £11.2m, the Go-Ahead Group took over the former First Manchester depot and operations at Queens Road less than two months ago, and already the changes are starting to have a very positive effect. The vehicle on display at the announcement was the first of 14 that are being refurbished by Thorntons to a high standard. Besides the quality repaint and renewed interior, the vehicle has been retrofitted with an Eminox exhaust system, bringing it up to Euro VI standard.
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