Newly Appointed Secretary of State for Transport, Louise Haigh, Joins Greater Manchester Leaders to Celebrate Bus Fleet Transformation

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Transport Louise Haigh, and Leader of Oldham Council Cllr Arooj Shah.

Today, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Transport, Louise Haigh, joined Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Leader of Oldham Council Cllr Arooj Shah in Oldham.

The event featured a productive stakeholder roundtable that brought together local council leaders, bus operators, union representatives, and strategic stakeholders. Discussions focused on the collaborative efforts and shared vision required to achieve a sustainable and efficient public transport system in Greater Manchester.

Key topics included the integration of 50 new electric double-decker buses and the installation of charging points at the depot in Oldham, with plans to expand this infrastructure across the site. The commitment to a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2030 was a central theme.

The stakeholder roundtable highlighted the positive impact of bus franchising in Greater Manchester, especially in Oldham. Despite initial delays, participants shared insights on the benefits of franchising, including improved service reliability and enhanced passenger experience.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, commented: “The arrival of the Bee Network in Oldham in March was just the beginning. Bus franchising has already allowed us to deliver better and more reliable services, the next step is to make sure the bus network serves residents who need from A to B, rather than shareholders pockets.

“I was delighted to welcome the Secretary of State at Oldham Bus Depot on her first visit to Greater Manchester, and to host the roundtable. We are so excited to work closely with Lou Haigh to continue improving transport in Oldham, Greater Manchester and across the North West.”

The event marked a significant milestone in Greater Manchester’s journey towards a sustainable and modern transportation network, showcasing the region as a leader in public transport innovation.

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