New Stagecoach Manchester Depot Set To Open in March

Sharston depot opens on 11 March with convoy of vintage and modern buses.

A state-of-the-art £6.5 million bus depot will be opened by the Lord Mayor of Manchester on Friday 11th March with a convoy of vintage and modern buses.

Stagecoach Manchester’s new Sharston depot, on Leestone Road will replace facilities at Princess Road, which has been acquired by Manchester City Council for its Hulme and Moss Side regeneration. The new depot has been created using energy efficient materials from sustainable sources, designed to keep the environmental impact of the depot to a minimum.

The celebrations will begin at 12.30pm with a convoy of vintage and modern buses carrying guests of honour, including the Lord Mayor of Manchester, councillor Mark Hackett and Stagecoach group executives. These will leave the 100-year old Princess Road depot, travelling in procession to the new premises on Sharston Industrial Estate. The Lord Mayor and Stagecoach Manchester’s managing director, Chris Bowles, will say a few words prior to the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.

Pupils from Hillcrest Grammar School in Stockport will provide musical entertainment, courtesy of their brass ensemble and vocal and jazz groups. Also present will be children from three local schools, who will bury a time capsule, filled with artefacts representing 2011 and their school life. The capsule will be buried on site for the next 50 years, becoming part of the history of the new depot.

Over 500 Stagecoach Manchester staff, most of which from Princess Road depot will be based at the new site. The Sharston depot will maintain and house up to 200 buses, operating throughout South Manchester. These include the 30 ‘green’ hybrid-electric vehicles which entered service in September 2010.

Chris Bowles, Stagecoach Manchester’s MD commented: “The launch of the new depot at Sharston marks the start of a new chapter for Stagecoach Manchester.

“We are sad to be leaving Princess Road, and Moss Side, but with our new depot we will be able to achieve best environmental practices, as well as improving the working environment to a higher than industry standard.

“The new depot will allow us to provide even better service to the people of South Manchester, and we look forward to becoming part of the Sharston community.”

• Sharston depot will also be a short distance from the former Northenden depot on Bradnor Road which closed on the eve of bus deregulation in 1986. Buses from the Northenden depot were moved by GM Buses to Sharston’s predecessor at Princess Road.

S.V., 18 February 2011.

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