Some 18 commercial bus services operating in the Bolton, Bury and Manchester areas and 500 employees are transferring to Rotala owned Diamond North West from First Manchester on the 11th August 2019.
The £5.3m acquisition will strengthen Diamond North West’s presence in the Greater Manchester conurbation. It is the second bus depot to be sold by First Manchester this year, with the Cheetham Hill depot being sold to Go-Ahead earlier this year.
The £11.2m deal involved taking over routes in Worsley and Radcliffe, although bus timetables remained the same. Go North West has also promised to spend £3m over the next 12 months on improving buses, including replacing 15-year-old vehicles with newer ones and upgrading vehicles with more environmentally friendly engines.
It will mean that First Manchester will now only operate out of Oldham bus depot and will also continue to run Vantage services along the Leigh Guided Busway in Greater Manchester.
As mentioned in my last article, tickets issued by First Manchester, including tickets purchased through its mobile app, will be accepted on all Diamond Bus North West and Go North West services and vice versa from the 11th August until further notice.
Rotala has quickly gathered a fleet of modern vehicles to start replacing some of the older First Manchester fleet, which includes 10 Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Citaro saloons dating from November 2014, which have come from Yourbus.
Exciting additions are nine brand new Wrightbus StreetDecks from dealer stock and a former Wrightbus StreetDeck demonstrator which has also been acquired. Additionally, some vehicles have also transferred from the Preston Bus and Diamond Bus fleet in Preston and the Midlands respectfully.
North West Managing Director for Diamond’s parent company Rotala, Bob Dunn, spoke to The Bolton News about the takeover: “We are delighted to be expanding our business in the Greater Manchester area,” he said.
“This is the latest stage of Rotala’s growth plan and we look forward to providing the people of Bolton, Bury and surrounding areas with our commitment to deliver high quality bus network.”
Diamond North West also went on the road earlier today the 9th August, and braved the rainy northern weather to show off one of their new brand new Wrightbus StreetDeck buses at Bolton, Bury and in Manchester.