MANCHESTER, UK, 2016-Nov-07 — /Travel PR News/ — Transport leaders in Greater Manchester have scooped yet another prestigious industry award for the North West’s first guided busway.
At the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport National Awards on 27 October, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) picked up the Transport Policy and Planning Award for the Leigh to Ellenbrook Guided Busway.
The category recognises outstanding achievement in transport planning for the benefit of passengers, businesses and the environment.
The 4.5-mile bus-only guideway between Leigh, Tyldesley and Ellenbrook is a first for the North West. It forms the flagship element of TfGM’s bus priority investment, a £122 million overall package enabling people to enjoy faster, more punctual and more reliable bus services across the region.
Latest figures from First Manchester, which runs the Vantage services on the busway, show patronage continuing to grow, with 45,000 people a week now on board – almost equivalent to the population of Leigh.
Since Vantage launched in April this year, it has already carried one million customers and a recent survey found that a fifth of passengers have switched from their cars – which equates to 460,000 fewer cars on the roads over a year.
The busway provides smooth, rapid connections for passengers thanks to a unique concrete track. The high-specification, low-emission hybrid buses have Wi-Fi and USB charging points, plush seating, tables on the upper deck, audio and visual stop announcements and climate control.
The busway investment also provides more travel choices for residents in Greater Manchester. It includes three park and ride sites, offering free parking for more than 400 cars. In addition, a shared path alongside its whole length has been surfaced so it can be used by horse riders, walkers and both leisure and commuter cyclists.
This recent accolade is one of many industry awards for the programme in 2016. It won in the same category at the North West Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Awards on 24 June, and the project’s environmental credentials were recognised with an award for sustainability at the North West Construction Awards in July.
It was also highly commended at the National Transport Awards in the Engineering and Construction Project of the Year Category.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “It’s great that TfGM has been recognised at the CILT National Awards, as well as the regional awards.
“The busway was a major technical achievement and our investment promises a significant boost for all the communities it serves, helping people reach key employment, healthcare, retail and leisure facilities more easily than ever before.
“It is also valuable in tackling congestion and reducing emissions for the benefit of the environment.
“The number of people benefiting from what’s been provided continues to grow and I am delighted to see our investment being so quickly rewarded.”
Ian Humphreys, Head of Commercial for First Manchester, said: “Vantage is a premium bus service unlike any other – providing a quicker, more reliable bus connection between Leigh, Salford and Manchester, and it’s fantastic to see that the first guided busway in the North West has been recognised for its successful implementation, at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport National Awards.
“Our Vantage branded service continues to grow in popularity, with over one million customer journeys now completed, since the launch in April 2016. We have more recently added two extra journeys to the timetable, and we will continue to develop this premium service, so that even more people choose Vantage as their preferred mode of transport.”
For media enquiries relating to FirstGroup plc, please contact the Corporate Communications team on:
Tel: +44 (0)20 7725 3354
SOURCE: FirstGroup plc