First Manchester’s increasingly popular Vantage Busway service between Ellenbrook and Manchester, is set to benefit from additional seats for commuters travelling during peak times from September 2018.
The First Manchester Vantage service is continuing to attract new passengers every week, with an increase of 13 per cent more people carried over the last three months, which averages at 54,000 people carried per week. The announcement of additional buses will result in more seats being available during the busier periods, particularly on early morning services.
The additional journeys will operate between Ellenbrook and Manchester, with services leaving at 06:59, 07:06, 07:15, 07:44 and an additional service from Wardley Park & Ride to Manchester at 08:09. Two other journeys on the V1/V2 will also be extended to Manchester Royal Infirmary. Some of the extra journeys will be operated by a standard vehicle, however, these will be highlighted in the timetable as number V4.
Today’s news follows the results from an annual survey of First Manchester busway customers, which found that more passengers are opting to walk to and from their local Vantage service; helping to reduce the number of cars on the road. Overall satisfaction with the service continues to be high, at 92 per cent, which is significantly higher than other local services.
Speaking about the service, Ian Humphreys, Managing Director for First Manchester, said: “A clear message from customers has been a call for more seats to be made available during the morning peak and I’m therefore pleased to announce that from September we will be adding extra trips to the timetable, under the new V4 service.
“In addition to today’s announcement, First Manchester is continuing to support the Vantage service by creating a video to demonstrate the accessibility of the bus for customers with disabilities. Customers can experience an interactive virtual tour of the bus and bus stops along the route, as well as see what to expect when boarding and travelling on Vantage buses. The video aims to make travelling easier and reduce anxiety for new customers.”
Councillor Roger Jones, Chair of the Bus Network and Transport for Greater Manchester Services Sub-Committee, said: “Following on from the provision of two extra morning peak services in April this year, the demand for even further capacity is a clear indication of the continued success of the Vantage bus services.
“These extra buses are great news for passengers and will hopefully encourage even more people to join the 54,000 passengers already using Vantage every week.
“If more people are encouraged to leave their cars at home and use our transport networks – and have a good experience doing so – then we can really help to improve air quality and, in turn, people’s health.”
The 4.5-mile bus-only guideway between Leigh, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook is part of TfGM’s £122 million investment package to deliver faster, more punctual and more reliable bus services across the region, to, from and through the city centre, encouraging people to switch from their cars.