Have you got the X34 Factor? It’s a yes from me!

Stagecoach Manchester surprised passengers as it launched its new combined 34 and X34 services from Leigh to Manchester yesterday, with an impromptu ‘X34 Factor’ show adding excitement to the regular morning commute.

Olly Murs impersonator and 2015 X Factor contestant Jamie Benkert performed a string of hits to commuters and passengers alike, with Simon Cowell double Andy Monk judging from the back of the bus.

The event was held to launch Stagecoach Manchester’s all-new 34 service, which will combine with the X34 service, to give passengers in the Bryn, Ashton, Golborne, Lowton, Leigh, Boothstown and Worsley areas regular, reliable and affordable transport into Manchester City Centre; the X34 and 34 services, now operate up to every 20 minutes, with additional journeys at commuter times.

Complimentary WiFi, which is now present in over half of the Stagecoach Manchester fleet, features on the new buses along with USB charging points to further improve the experience for those on board, while low floor access is standard to help elderly and disabled passengers as well as those with children.

“We’ve invested in the 34 service to give our customers in the Bryn, Ashton, Golborne, Lowton, Leigh, Boothstown and Worsley areas regular and reliable transport links to Salford and Manchester City Centre, on a brand new fleet of buses which make the journeys for those on board as relaxing as possible.”Stagecoach Manchester managing director, Christopher Bowles, said: “Manchester is a city that’s growing at an impressive rate, but it’s important the Greater Manchester region as a whole can grow with it. It’s down to local transport providers to makes sure there are regular and accessible transport links for local people travelling into Manchester, which will help the wider region grow together with the city.

Stagecoach Manchester has invested £1.5m in a fleet of new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 MMC buses with Euro 6 engines to serve the X34 and 34 routes. The buses have been designed to significantly reduce the level of carbon emissions and also provide upgraded levels of safety and comfort.

Tom Harrison

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