Supporting Stagecoach in Manchester Tranche 3 bus bids, March 2024

March 31, 2024

Interesting results from Tranche 3 Manchester bus franchises which were announced on 28th March ahead of the May mayoral elections. Metroline, a new entrant to Manchester and a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro, winning 4 of 5 depots on offer. Surbon Consulting is delighted to have helped support Stagecoach on environmental and social value sections to retain Stockport bus depot in Tranche 3.

Bus landscape post franchising

After 3 rounds of franchising, the landscape as regards large franchises is outlined below. TfGM let contracts on a depot basis with an assigned number of routes. TFGM ran three tranches of procurement, the first of which kicked off in May 2022 and concluded in November 2023 with updates provided via GMCA

Current operators

Tranche 1 – Go-Ahead – 2 depots, Wigan and Bolton with contract start date of September 2023
Tranche 2 and 3 – Stagecoach – 4 depots Queen’s Road, Middleton, Oldham with a contract start date March 2023. Stockport depot has a contract start of January 2025.
Tranche 3 – Metroline -4 depots, Hyde Road, Wythenshawe, Tameside, Sharston with a contract start date of January 2025.

With TfGM taking charge of revenue and branding as the Bee network, it will be interesting to see how patronage and customer satisfaction evolve in a franchised world. There are very high expectations!

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