New Metroshuttle buses ….

Posted on November 25th, 2010, by The Chairman

Metroshuttle 3

Next time you go into Manchester, you should see the new Metroshuttle buses. These replace the previous ones that are now over 5 years old. Probably something to do with the leases on the old vehicles being up.

The new ones are diesel-electric hybrids, and again are from Optare in Leeds. These work by the diesel engine running continually at optimum speed for electricity generation with the vehicles being powered by electric motors through the battery. If I’ve got the technical bits wrong here, please let us know.

The buses are also quite a bit bigger. This should provide considerable relief in the peaks when in my experience all three services regularly leave passengers behind.

I think Manchester was the first for free bus service shuttles around a city, part paid for by the transport authority and the rest through sponsorship from parking, shopping and property organisations. Chester followed not long afterwards. Again, corrections happily received.

Please leave a comment

  1. Mike Battman Says:

    I’m showing my age here, but I remember the Picc-Vic Shuttle buses that ran in pre-metrolink days.

    I used to be at University in Newcastle and used them to get from Victoria to Piccadilly and on to the trains to Timperley. That was in the days before the Newcastle trains were diverted into Piccadilly.

    I seem to think they were free; but honestly can’t remember.

  2. Music Fan Says:

    Chester’s free Rail Link Bus dates back to the late 1990’s so may even pre-date the Metroshuttle – that is my recollection.

  3. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Mike!

    I remember those buses, but they weren’t called Metroshuttle then. It was called the Centrelink route 4.

    They were Pennine-bodied Seddons, quite short single deckers, with steep steps to get up into them as the engine was underneath which was a common approach those days. They were numbered in the 17xx series. There’s one at the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport. Have a look at

    You had to pay, though.

  4. Mike Battman Says:


    That’s them! Entered service 1974, which was whilst I was at University.

    I couldn’t remember if I had to pay or not; it can’t have been very much (remember I was a poor student at the time – I’d have walked if it was expensive!)

  5. Andrew Macfarlane Says:

    The bus service between Piccadilly and Victoria stations operated by the Pennine-bodied Seddons was called Centreline and was free to all rail ticket holders. If only that arrangement applied to Metrolink between the two stations.

  6. Ian Says:

    I think there’s Route:Metrolink tickets available for journeys like Stockport to Rochdale, which requires you to transfer between Piccadilly and Victoria, but the arrangement doesn’t extend to journeys originating outside of GM.

    Was there not also a free Piccadilly-Victoria bus during the Commonwealth Games in 2002?

  7. Jen Says:

    The Chester free bus will end next week. A new bus service, route 40 operated by Aintree Coachlines, will run between the station and Frodsham Street every 10 minutes but there will be a £1 fare. Aintree Coachlines are not part of the Plus Bus scheme.

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