As the launch date for Greater Manchester’s highly-anticipated Bee Network draws ever closer, more details about the new transport system have been unveiled.
Mayor Andy Burnham unveiled the first look at the Bee Network’s fleet of electric buses last month, with the first fifty due to be rolled out across Wigan and Bolton on September 17th, 2023.
The rest of the network will then be implemented across the region by January 2025, alongside Bee Network cycle hire bikes and, ultimately, the Metrolink network.
The buses will be powered by electric batteries to ensure they produce zero local emissions, supporting Greater Manchester in building a sustainable future for public transport.
This comes as Transport for Greater Manchester confirmed a receipt of thirty-three bids from nine different operators vying to run the locally controlled bus services – the first in thirty-six years.
Andy Burnham said of the new network: “The countdown to bringing buses back under local control for the first time in thirty-six years is well and truly on.
“With the order placed for our first fifty new electric buses and strong interest from operators who want to run the first franchised services a year from now, the Bee Network is gathering real momentum.
“We’ve already seen a positive response to our call for people to get back on board, helped by the successful introduction of cheaper bus fares across Greater Manchester to help residents cope with the cost-of-living crisis and I’m pleased to announce that we have commenced engagement with operators about the potential to cap weekly bus tickets from early next year.”
“The previous government bought into what we are trying to do, and I underlined the importance of this partnership approach continuing during my meeting with the new Transport Secretary yesterday.
“By working together, we will realise our ambitions and deliver a network that will transform how people get around our city region – not just in the years ahead but for future generations.”
Bus franchising will be rolled out in phases, starting in Bolton and Wigan as well as parts of Salford and West Manchester on September 17th 2023, followed by Bury, Rochdale, Oldham and parts of North Manchester from the end of March 2024.
Stockport, Trafford, Tameside and South Manchester, as well as the remaining parts of Salford, will be rolled out from January 5th, 2025.
Man to appear in court charged with murder of mum from Gorton as family pay tribute
Her family have paid tribute to their ‘most perfect daughter’
Greater Manchester Police have confirmed a man is due to appear in court charged with the murder of a mum from Gorton, as her family pay tribute to their beloved daughter.
Charlene Mills, 43, died following an incident in Hyde Road on Saturday, September 30th.
Officers were called to the address at around 11.20am after receiving reports regarding the concerns for the welfare of a woman.
Emergency services attended the scene, but Charlene sadly died. A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Peter Pitt, 52, of Hyde Road, Manchester, has been charged in connection with Charlene’s death.
Pitt is remanded in custody, due to appear at Manchester Magistrates Court today, (Monday October 2nd).
Yesterday, Charlene’s family paid tribute to her, saying she was ‘beautiful inside and out’.
Her family said: “We are so deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Charlene. She was beautiful inside and out and had a personality that would bring a smile to the faces of all that knew her, no matter what the situation.”
The tribute continued: “Charlene, or Char as we all knew her, was the most perfect daughter and big sister to Amber. She loved being a mum and idolised her son Rydell and dog, Boxer. “
“She was strong-willed, kind, and cheeky, overcoming so many obstacles in her life. The world just won’t be as fun without her, and our treasured memories of Char are the only little pieces of comfort we have.
“We are heartbroken and still coming to terms with this devastating news. We are extremely grateful for the messages of support and to those who have paid their respects by laying flowers.
“We now ask for privacy and time to grieve.”
Amy Dowden thanks co-stars as she makes an emotional visit to Strictly set
She thanked her former Strictly co-stars in a heartwarming post
Professional dancer Amy Dowden thanked her Strictly co-stars as she paid an emotional visit to the BBC set following her cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
The 33-year-old was forced to pull out from the show following her diagnosis of stage three breast cancer back in May, soon after she had returned from her honeymoon with husband Ben Jones.
Following the start of the new season, the star from Caerphilly, in South Wales, took to Instagram yesterday (October 1st) to share her love for her former colleagues and show support for them in the new show.
She posted a collection of pictures to her Instagram page which showed her posing with the cast of the latest show alongside a message of support.
In the post on Instagram, Amy wrote: “Tune in tonight for the first results show of the series! The standard this year is insane. What a great two live shows so far.
“I was lucky to be able to be there for tonight’s opening number a few weeks back and all I can say is WOW! What another incredible number created by @jasongilkison.
“It’s moments like this I need right now, escaping me from my now at the moment reality and I’m so thankful to the entire @bbcstrictly for this. Hoping to [be] back with the gang real soon.
“There’s no text book or right/ wrong way to deal with your cancer journey. Everyone deals with it rightly their way.
“I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so much support which I don’t take for granted and days like here is what keeps me going.
“I’m dreaming every night of dancing on that floor again but right now I’m my fellow pro’s proudest and biggest cheerleader.
“Who’s your fav so far?! #strictlycomedancing #forevergrateful #strictlyfamily #support.”
Her family, friends and fans all dashed to the comments section to send her all the love and appreciation. Strictly dancer, Vito Coppola, said: “JUST LOVE YOU AMY. Waiting for you to come back with Us. I want to Hug youuuuu.”
Professional dancer, Dianne Buswelll, typed: “can’t wait for you to be back i miss you chewing my ear off with just classic amy chit chat.”
Strictly’s Jowita Przystał, added: “Love you, and we all miss you !!!”
While @meghan.rhodes_x, wrote: “That picture of you and Carlos tho. best friends for life.”
And @catherine3283, penned: “You were born to dance and dance again you will. With your positive attitude you will kick cancers butt and show it who is boss.”
Pupils offered support as families pay tribute to schoolgirl and bus driver killed in M53 crash
The pupils from the schools are being offered mental health support to come to terms with the incident
The families of a schoolgirl and coach driver who were killed after their school bus crashed on Friday have paid tribute to their loved ones .
Children who were also on the bus that was involved in the accident, which happened about 8am on the M53 in Wirral on September 29th, are being offered support, a headteacher said.
Jessica Baker, 15, and driver Stephen Shrimpton, 40, died when the coach hit a reservation between J5 for New Chester Road to J4 for Brimstage Road.
The coach had been carrying more than 50 students from Cheshire to West Kirby Grammar School and Calday Grange Grammar School.
It was part of a convoy of school buses carrying other children, who witnessed the incident. The road was closed in both directions as all emergency services attended the scene, including air ambulance.
Four passengers were taken to hospital for treatment, including a 14-year-old boy who suffered life changing injuries. All patients remain in a stable condition.
Stephen Gray, head teacher at Calday Grange Grammar School, told BBC Breakfast that today would be a ‘difficult day’ for all pupils and teachers travelling to school.
He said there would be specialist mental health support from the NHS and police in place at the schools all week to help pupils and staff come to terms with what has happened.
In a tribute, Jessica’s family described her as ‘warm-hearted and wonderful’ and said she was a ‘devoted sister and loyal friend’.
They said she was a keen rock-climber and ‘her untimely death has led to a massive void in our lives that will never be filled’.
Mr Shrimpton’s family described him as a ‘loving husband and father’, and said he was a ‘caring and thoughtful man who would always prioritise others over himself’.
In a fundraiser for Mr Shrimpton’s funeral, his sister-in-law said the father-of-two had suffered a medical issue while driving, leaving behind his wife and children aged eight and four.
Police said post-mortem examinations were due to take place to establish the cause of both their deaths.