Mancunian variety

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Jonathan Welch takes a look at the variety of vehicles being used to cover services as a result of ongoing strike action by drivers in Manchester

It may have been late 2019, but it doesn’t seem like long ago that I was in Manchester covering the sale of FirstGroup operations to other operators, with Diamond North West taking over its Bolton depot, and Go-Ahead’s new Go North West taking on Queens Road depot, close to Manchester city centre. At the latter as well as the former, there was an optimism about the change, and in particular at the fledgeling Go North West, where it spoke volumes to hear so much positivity from not just the operator and the staff but also the drivers’ trade union, Unite.

It is not CBW’s place to judge the rights and wrongs of the strike action, nor to pontificate on the effect it may have with regards to the equally marmite topic of franchising, and we are sure that both sides have sincerely-held views. But whilst the two sides remain at loggerheads, what any visitor to the city cannot fail to notice is the wide and unusual variety of vehicles the ongoing action has brought to the city. Buses and coaches from a number of operators are to be found covering the services, alongside a number of Go North West vehicles which the operator is able to operate on a limited number of contracted services.

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