State-of-the-art Sharston depot opens with a nod to the past
A new era in public transport began for Stagecoach in Manchester on the 11th March with the opening of its £6.5 million depot on Leestone Road, Sharston Industrial Estate. The opening ceremony began with a send-off for the Princess Road depot, which was marked by a convoy of vintage buses. The last stage carriage workings from Princess Road depot took place on the following Saturday.
Over 70 guests arrived at the new depot, including the Lord Mayor of Manchester Mark Hackett and Stagecoach Manchester MD Chris Bowles, who cut the ribbon and unveiled a commemorative plaque. Pupils from Hillcrest Grammar School, Stockport, entertained visitors with performances by their brass ensemble, vocal and jazz groups. Benchill Primary, Crossacres Primary and St Wilfrids C of E Primary schools were also present, burying a time capsule with artefacts from 2011 and their school life. The capsule will remain underground till 2061, becoming part of the new depot’s history.
Guests were taken on a tour of the depot and its facilities, created using energy-efficient materials from sustainable sources. All of which are designed to keep the environmental impact of the depot to a minimum. Over 500 staff, most of which from Princess Road will be based at Sharston, which will house and maintain up to 200 buses, serving South Manchester, including the 30 hybrid-electric vehicles.
Chris Bowles, managing director of Stagecoach Manchester commented: “Sharston will now become one of our busiest depots so it was only fitting that we celebrate the opening in style.
“We would like to thank everyone who has attended our opening, especially all the local school children who played an important role in the day’s events.
“The bus procession was a fitting tribute to Princess Road, and as the last bus left the depot it marked the start of a new era for Stagecoach Manchester, as we lead the way with best environmental practices and continue to provide a high standard of service to the local community.”
S.V, 14 March 2011.