The region’s leading local bus operator, Stagecoach Manchester, was joined by local MP, David Heyes and six nominated ‘Green Champions’ on Friday 13th April, to officially launch 13 new hybrid buses into service at Ashton bus station.
Stagecoach Manchester joined up with the eco-friendly organisations, which were chosen by the company to help launch the new buses in recognition of their commitment towards improving the local environment.
The ‘Green Champions’ were also each presented with £15 worth of high street vouchers and a commemorative certificate.
The six organisations named ‘Green Champions’ were:
- Debdale Eco Centre – one of the few eco-centres in Manchester, which offers lessons and training in organic gardening
- Tameside Green Interest Group – a local group dedicated to keeping green issues at the forefront of the Tameside community, through events and correspondence with the local council
- Green Chorlton – a not-for-profit group that promotes environmental issues in the Chorlton area and organiser of Chorlton’s Big Green Festival, an annual celebration of sustainable living
- Emerge Recycling Manchester – a local charity that aims to encourage the community to reduce waste, re-use and recycle
- Friends of Heaton Chapel Station – a community group that aims to make the landscape around Heaton Chapel railway station more attractive for its users and encourage use through the promotion of the station’s facilities
- Action for Sustainable Living – a Manchester based charity which works to raise awareness of environmental and sustainability issues
The ‘Green Champions’ launched the new vehicles with a ribbon cutting ceremony performed alongside Stagecoach Manchester’s Managing Director, Christopher Bowles; MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, David Heyes; representative from bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, Frank McGhee and members of Stagecoach Manchester’s ‘Green Team’, who are responsible for encouraging other staff members to support the company’s environmental initiatives, at each of the four depots.
The new buses’ electric-hybrid design, which is fuelled by a sophisticated battery system supported by a traditional diesel engine, will emit 30 per cent less carbon than the standard buses, offering passengers a cleaner, greener service and a smoother, more comfortable ride.
The arrival of the state-of-the-art double deck buses, which have been designed and created by the UK's leading bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis supported by BAE Systems, represents a £1.6 million investment in the company’s fleet. It is a boost for the 219 route, which serves Manchester, Openshaw, Audenshaw and Ashton-under-Lyne.
Christopher Bowles commented: “Following the introduction of six hybrid buses to our Stockport depot last month, this latest launch is another demonstration of our investment into improving bus services and commitment to reducing our carbon footprint. The launch gave us a wonderful opportunity to honour hardworking local organisations that are also helping to create a greener, cleaner Manchester.”
Commenting on the launch, David Heyes, MP, said: “It is really encouraging to see a local company taking these steps towards improving carbon emissions. Stagecoach Manchester is clearly demonstrating that it understands the benefits and importance of supporting the green agenda and is leading by example.
“I look forward to seeing the new buses on the roads in and around Ashton-under-Lyne and travelling on them myself.”
As well as the new buses that have launched in Ashton, Stagecoach Group also recently announced that a further fleet of 40 hybrid vehicles will be introduced onto the 192 route, running from Manchester City Centre to Stockport and Hazel Grove, early next year.