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Oldham bus depot gets electric transformation with 51 charging points installed

Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt testing out the new charging infrastructure with Stephen Rhodes - Director of Bus, Anne Marie Purcell - Chief Transformation Officer, and Zoe Hands, MD of First Bus, Manchester

Work has been completed to electrify Oldham’s bus depot and enable charging for a new fleet of modern zero-emission buses for the Bee Network.

The completion of the electrification project, which started in November, is the latest step in upgrading depots and transitioning to an electric bus fleet. 

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) entered into an agreement with First Bus Manchester, the existing operator of Oldham depot, to carry out the works ahead of a handover to Stagecoach, which will operate Bee Network services.

A total of 51 charging points have been installed to enable the new fleet of electric vehicles to be charged simultaneously. A full charge, which gives a range of up to 160 miles, will take 3 hours. A new substation, along with other high-voltage equipment, supplies the power required, which is cabled to the charging points via overhead gantries, safety bollards, lining, and signage to provide designated charging bays.

Transport Commissioner for Greater Manchester, Vernon Everitt – who visited the depot to mark the electrification completion, said:

“In less than a week, the second phase of the Bee Network will be coming to Oldham, Rochdale, Bury, parts of Salford, and north Manchester, along with the first batch of new zero-emission buses serving these areas. These state-of-the-art vehicles feature two spaces for wheelchair users and many other enhanced accessibility features and will provide better and cleaner journeys for all bus passengers.

“Our ambitions for a fully electric bus fleet will help make Greater Manchester a greener and healthier place for everyone, and the infrastructure installed by First Bus to electrify Oldham bus depot is another significant milestone in enabling that.”

Since March 24, 2024, the new electric buses have been operational on three routes and replaced previous older diesel buses, helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality on these routes.

7 Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) fully Bee Network branded at Oldham 7 Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) at Oldham First Bus Depot.

7 Zero Emission Buses (ZEBs) fully Bee Network branded at Oldham First Bus Depot.

The specific areas/communities that are being served are the following:

59 - Oldham – Middleton – Manchester

83 - Oldham - Manchester

84 – Uppermill - Grotton - Oldham - Manchester

Anne Marie Purcell, Chief Transformation Officer, said: “I am immensely proud of the work we have done with First Bus to upgrade this depot ahead of the launch of Bee Network services in tranche two.  

“Completing the works in time for the commencement of the next phase of bus franchising was an ambitious timescale. It involved managing a number of key challenges, such as working in a live operational environment and required excellent coordination between our construction team and depot staff.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for ensuring everything was completed on time and ready for service to start on 24th March.”


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