Prepare for Lift Off! 🚀 Manchester’s Orbits Are Ready to Launch

Prepare for Lift Off! 🚀 Manchester’s Orbits Are Ready to Launch
Prepare for Lift Off! Manchester’s Orbits begin running on Sunday 5th January on route 52.Go North West

A £1million investment in twelve refreshed buses for Manchester hits the road this weekend as Manchester’s Orbits, the bold new identity for bus routes 52 and 53 in the city. They’ll be officially unveiled at a public launch event on Market Street in Manchester on Saturday 4th January.

The investment in newer buses is a significant upgrade for two important bus routes which connect many of Manchester’s suburbs. The 52 runs from Failsworth to Salford Shopping City and the intu Trafford Centre, whilst the 53 – Manchester’s oldest unchanged bus route – takes an orbital circuit of the city, connecting Cheetham Hill with North Manchester General Hospital, Blackley, Harpurhey, Sportcity, Gorton, Belle Vue, Longsight, Rusholme, Salford Quays and Pendleton.

12 extensively refurbished low-emission Alexander Dennis Enviro200 buses featuring a new, bright orange brand identity will begin to hit the roads from Sunday 5th January, bringing new levels of comfort and reliability, a better ride quality and reduced emissions to customers and the general public across the city. The first buses will enter service on the 52, with more buses to follow for the 53 throughout January and into February.

John Roxburgh, Operations Manager at Go North West, said: ‘Our investment in a revitalised fleet of buses for Manchester’s Orbits marks a real step up in quality for customers on the 52 and 53. When we took the reins from First back in June, we promised significant investment in our fleet, and I’m really delighted that we’re now able to deliver on those promises’.

Matt Harrison, Marketing and Communications Manager at Go North West, said: ‘Here at Go North West, we wanted to make a big statement with the launch of Manchester’s Orbits. We’re adding a touch of quality, creating a better all-round experience and a more productive environment for our customers to relax and enjoy. We can’t wait to send these buses into Orbit!’.

Thank You Bus Drivers of the North West

A festive ‘Love Actually style’ video clip (no, not that one!) has taken local social media by storm as Mancunians share the love with their city’s bus drivers. The video features various members of the public thanking bus drivers for getting them to and from work and for getting them around at Christmas.

Manchester’s Orbits begin running on Sunday 5th January on route 52, with upgrades to the 53 following later in January and February. There’ll be a public launch event on Saturday 4 January, taking place at the bottom of Market Street in Manchester, with the first vehicle unveiled in a special ceremony at 10am. A huge, satin sheet will cover the bus from top to bottom – customers and bus drivers will be invited to take part in the countdown as we get ready for the big reveal!

For more information on Manchester’s Orbits, visit

Tom Harrison

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