The companies responsible for running the bus services in Phase Three of the Bee Network are set in stone ahead of its arrival in areas including Trafford.

Already Phase One and Phase Two are in operation across the north of Greater Manchester after starting on September 24 of last year and March 24 of this year respectively.

Today (March 28) the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) revealed the companies responsible for running the bus services in Phase Three of the Bee Network.

There were five large contracts split between Metroline and Stagecoach and a number of lesser contracts split between Diamond Bus and Go North West.

Messenger Newspapers: Bee Network buses

The Trafford area is covered by one of the lesser contracts to be awarded to Diamond Bus with all of the above coming into effect at the start of next year.

It means the GMCA is to be responsible for everything from tickets to timetables; the passengers are to benefit from accessible, zero-emission buses; and the operators are to be accountable based on their reliability and other targets.

Eamonn Boylan, the chief executive of the GMCA, said: "Awarding the last round of contracts is a major milestone towards delivering the Bee Network. It is exciting to think all of the bus services across the whole of Greater Manchester will be accountable to the people they serve.

"We look forward to working with the winning bidders over the coming months as we prepare to deliver this positive change for people in Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and the rest of Manchester and Salford from January next year."

Messenger Newspapers: Bee Network buses

When Phase One started on September 24 of last year it was the first time bus services were brought back under public control since deregulation in 1986.

Subject to an agreement with the government there is an intention to integrate some train services into the network before the end of the decade in the style of the London Overground.

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This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.