The Vantage guided busway service introduced to connect Leigh more effectively to Salford and Manchester has been used by two million passengers since launching in April 2016, operator First has announced.
The busway forms a key part of Greater Manchester’s £122m bus priority package. The 4.5-mile bus-only guided section connects Leigh and Ellenrook before joining the East Lancs Road and running along a prioritised route.
Once final works are completed in late April, the Vantage service will run its full intended cross-city route to Oxford Road in Manchester city centre.
Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee, said: “The number of people travelling on the busway is phenomenal and the latest figures really underline how important the busway has become to the people of Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley in such a short space of time.
“In its first 12 months it’s revolutionised the way more than 45,000 people a week travel – which is exactly what we knew it would do when we set about designing it.”
The hybrid-powered buses come with free Wi-Fi, “next stop” audio and visual announcements, tables and USB charging on board.
Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said: “The council has been committed to this project for many years so it is particularly gratifying to see it is thriving and growing in popularity.
“The recent additional Vantage services are also helping to open up new educational and employment opportunities for people in the east of the borough. It is one of Wigan Council’s key priorities to improve connectivity in the borough and the guided busway is helping us to deliver on this.”