More hybrid buses enter service – with more to come

Yet more hybridsWhilst Spring hasn’t been much fun on the cost front – with both Stagecoach and Arriva raising fares to deal with the price of fuel, but First holding tight after their January revisions – good news on the environmental front as more hybrid buses enter service in Greater Manchester and funding to purchase more is announced.

Coming on stream this month are a further batch of double-deckers for Stagecoach, with the routes benefitting this time being service 197 (Manchester to Stockport via Levenshulme, Burnage and Heaton Moor) and service 219 (Manchester to Ashton-under-Lyne via Ashton Old Road, with some extensions to/from Stalybridge). Slightly unexpected choices, but the latter has a certain symmetry given that it was home to electric trolleybuses in the post-war period.

TfGM is also receiving hybrid single deckers, which it then provides to bus operators for specific contracted routes – in similar fashion to how First operate the Metroshuttle and Maytree operate the Salford QuaysLink. There are full-length Yellow Green School Buses as well as Versas and Solos for public services. Current routes to benefit include the 27 (Manchester to Swinton) and 380 (Stockport to Greave), whilst certain other routes see operation in the evenings or on Sundays. Some further routes will be converted next week in Tameside, Bury and Bolton.

Meanwhile, another tranche of funding has been announced by DfT: Green Bus Fund round 3, with several batches of vehicles that will benefit operators in Greater Manchester:

  • Stagecoach Manchester: 40 vehicles (£3,165,685)
  • Transport for Greater Manchester: 11 vehicles (£1,001,602)
  • Arriva Manchester: 11 vehicles (£569,085)
  • Network Warrington: 6 vehicles (£523,200)

Of these, the 40 hybrid buses for Stagecoach Manchester will be for the busy 192 route along the A6, presumably further Enviro 400H double-deckers, bringing the number of hybrids in that fleet to 90. Arriva Manchester will receive 11 Volvo double-deckers for service 10 to Eccles along with further vehicles for other depots in the north west. Network Warrington’s 6 Optare Versa single-deckers may appear on service 5 to Altrincham, though this is subject to change.

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About James McCollom

Web geek and public transport user
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13 Responses to More hybrid buses enter service – with more to come

  1. Watcherzero says:

    I thought the Network Warrington buses were specifically for the Altrincham route.

    • James McCollom says:

      That would get the thumbs up from me – not heard anything about specific allocations yet though (and I keep my ears very close to the ground for my hometown busco!)

      Update: ooh, seems you are onto something there, Watcher, I’ve amended the post suitably.

  2. Paul Sidorczuk says:

    The DfT announcement of Green Bus Fund round 3 funding for 40 new Hybrid buses for Stagecoach Manchester’s use on the extremely busy 192 service will be a very good and sensible use of these vehicles.

  3. Andrew Bott says:

    Out if interest if Network Warringtons Hybrids are for 5 Altrincham-Warrington service I can foresee a problem as to how they are going to fit under the low canal bridge near Dunham Massey, yes normal Versa’s could probably fit under but the Hybrids have the pod on top which could possibly cause a problem

    • James McCollom says:

      It was thought that similar buses would struggle getting under Bradley Lane bridge in Standish, which is 10’3″ high, but no problems there. Dunham Massey is signposted as 9′ high, but I suspect there’s some wriggle room! Normal Versas have already reached Altrincham as a demonstrator has been on loan recently.

  4. Michael Tinker says:

    41 service Pioneer goes Hybrid next Week I am sure I heard 419 was to

    I think the 216 should convet aswell

  5. Shaun says:

    41 (Ashton) is confirmed in the new TfGM timetable, along with services 154, 512 and 513 (all First Manchester) from next week.

  6. The Traveller says:

    Interesting developments.

    I saw three 219s parked back to back in Ashton bus station on Wednesday, all of which were hybrids and had also noticed that the 197 route from Stockport to Albert Square M/cr was now being serviced by the distinctive green buses. Both the 197 and 219 are serviced by Hyde Road depot in Belle Vue I think

    And now the 192 is going green meaning that presumably Stockport depot is about to receive a consignment of green buses to its fleet.

    These new fuel friendly buses at Stagecoach M/cr are extra to the hybrids already in operation at Sharston depot on the 42 and 43 routes.

    • Shaun says:

      Should be the case with the 192, although Hyde Road depot run some 192 journeys, which has seen the new 12-plate hybrids on the route recently. A case of what’s to come in the future.

  7. Rob says:

    I’ve seen some of Stagecoach’s hybrids on the 15 and 250 this weekend as well.

  8. Trystan says:

    First running Versas on 380,381 and routes in Stockport. Had a good ride on them on Sat. Was impressed with their performance on the hilly bits. Only been on them in the form of Metroshuttle in the city centre so it was good to experience them full throttle. Also First running Versas on 513 (my local route) and Plaxtons on 512, both Bury to Bolton routes. I’m guessing the reasoning for the Versa on the 513 is due to the bus having to do a 3 point turn at the end of Ringley Road near to the entrance to Giants Seat garden centre. It would be better if a full turning circle was installed, there is ample land. Both the 512/3 are getting busier services since new housing in the area was built and recently Maytree put double deckers on the 512. Hopefully First will do the same in future. Also spotted a Versa on the First 12 route which I found puzzling as it is not a subsidised service and a Versa clearly is too small. I attempted to catch a 12 but had to wait as people were flush against the doors standing. 27, 74, 75 and 484 are all opertated by Versas’s. Not seen any Solo’s around Bolton/Salford area yet.

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