Go North West is now up and running at Queens Road Depot in North Manchester’s Cheetham Hill, after the £11.2m deal concluded with services commencing throughout the early hours on Sunday 2nd June 2019.
Back in February, you may remember we published an article outlining that Go-Ahead was to buy Queens Road Bus Depot for £11.2m. Initially, the Go-Ahead subsidiary will replicate the existing service that was provided by First Manchester. However, Go North West are working on enhancements that will be announced in the future.
Continuing with the Go-Ahead focus on customer experience and local leadership, Queens Road will be operated by a new senior management team and in-house customer service team – employing local people with local knowledge to deliver a better bus service.
David Cutts, Interim Managing Director of Go North West, said earlier this month: “We are pleased to be running buses from Queens Road, and we look forward to serving the people of Manchester.
“Go North West has committed to providing our passengers with a high-quality service and continuing the record bus passenger satisfaction score of 92% that Go-Ahead achieved this year.
“There is a refurbishment and replacement plan in place, to update the current fleet of buses and we look forward to announcing further improvements in the coming weeks.
“I’d also like to thank the Go North West team who have worked on the transition process and the staff at Queens Road who have been very welcoming and who officially join the GNW team today.”
Customers will benefit from a new travel companion app on the Apple App Store or Google Play, where tickets can be purchased and passengers can find bus times. The new Go North West Website has recently been launched – which provides passengers with service and ticketing information. It is expected that real time bus information will soon be available through the app to help passengers plan their journeys.
The first vehicle to be painted in the new fleet livery – designed by MediaCityUK based Buzz Marketing – was an Alexander Dennis Enviro400, registered SN14 TTE with the fleet number of 33841 which was new to First Manchester back in 2014. Vehicles acquired from First Manchester are running in First’s Urban livery but with Go North West stickers provided by McKenna Brothers – over the former operator’s fleet names.
As part of preparations for the takeover, Go North West refurbished the depot’s large external clock. The garage building, which includes the adjacent Museum of Transport Greater Manchester, was opened in 1901 as the city’s first electric tram depot and is Grade II listed.
This is just the start for this customer experience led bus operator. A fleet refurbishment plan is already underway with a Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini 2 bodied Volvo B5LH, registered BN61 MWX with the fleet number of 39219, being one of the first buses to be sent to Thornton Brothers in the North East for an internal refurbishment and repaint into the attractive new livery.
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What do you think of the new livery? Let us know in the comments section!