Alexander Dennis hands over first electric Bee Network buses to Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

2nd June 2023

Alexander Dennis, a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., one of the world’s leading independent global bus manufacturers, today handed over the first five of 100 electric double deck buses ordered by Transport for Greater Manchester to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham.

The first 50 zero-emission buses will enter service in Wigan, Bolton and parts of Salford and Bury in September, when the new Bee Network starts to bring buses under local control for the first time in nearly 40 years. A further 50 will be delivered in March 2024, when bus franchising will be extended to Bury, Rochdale and Oldham and parts of Manchester, Salford and Tameside, before services across the rest of Greater Manchester follow in January 2025.

Each of the BYD–Alexander Dennis Enviro400EV zero-emission buses is 10.8m long and seats 62 passengers. They will be fully inclusive, with two wheelchair bays, hearing induction loops, audio and visual announcement systems and anti-slip flooring. The new buses will be funded from the government’s City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.

Alexander Dennis Group Commercial Director, Martin West, said: “We are proud to be manufacturing the brand-new buses that will upgrade bus services in Greater Manchester as part of the Bee Network. These proven and reliable electric buses will deliver smooth journeys for passengers while cutting out tailpipe emissions wherever they go.

“The assembly of these buses in the UK supports the jobs and apprenticeships of over 2,000 team members in our company, who are proud to be leading the transition to zero-emission mobility. Through our domestic supply chain, this Bee Network investment benefits communities in the North of England and right across the country.”

Transformed bus services are a key part of Greater Manchester’s Bee Network plan for a more accessible and integrated network, bringing together local trams and buses – and ultimately local train services – with the largest walking, wheeling and cycling network anywhere in the UK.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “By bringing buses under local control and investing in new vehicles, routes, and services, we will start to transform how people get around Greater Manchester.

“Key to that is a world-class fleet of modern, accessible, and environmentally friendly buses – which is what these are. It was great to see the first ones off the production line and I can’t wait to see them full of passengers when the first services come under local control from September.

“The contract with Alexander Dennis is a brilliant example of the far-reaching benefits the work we are doing to improve public transport in Greater Manchester has to the UK economy. Through our supply chains we are helping to secure skilled jobs and training and I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with the young apprentices, who look to have a great career ahead of them.”