Corrie star says new Witchway buses are streets ahead

Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine will be the familiar voice that welcomes passengers onto the new Wicthway buses, between Burnley and Manchester.

Thursday, 10th December 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th December 2020, 3:57 pm

Burnley bus operator Transdev is investing £3.8m. in its new fleet of 14 double deck vehicles, proudly built in Britain to Transdev’s all-new Sky Class specification, which the company believes offers the most high-end luxury features ever seen on Britain’s buses.

The new buses enter service from this Sunday on the Witchway route linking Burnley and Rawtenstall with Manchester up to every 15 minutes.

Corrie star Jennie, who hails from Rossendale, said: “These Witchway buses are amazing – there are so many features packed inside every bus, it’s just like flying first class, with all the luxury anyone could ever want to go in style.

Transdev's Alex Hornby with TV soap star Jennie McAlpine on-board one of the new £3.8m. Witchway buses which take to the road between Burnley and Manchester from this Sunday

"I’m so proud to be the warm Northern voice welcoming everyone on board these fantastic new buses, and hopefully making sure no-one misses their stop.”

The new fleet is expected to cover one million miles every year – and will be driven and maintained by a team of 120 colleagues at The Burnley Bus Company’s Queensgate depot.

Transdev chief executive Alex Hornby said: “We make it our mission to create buses that people want to be seen on. The new Witchway – and our new, unique Sky Class specification raises the bar higher than ever in both comfort and style, all amounting to a journey experience like no other.

“British bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis describes them as the highest specification they’ve ever been asked to build.

One of the new buses at Rawtenstall Bus Station

“Witchway is a net contributor to economic growth in our communities and has a reputation of driving up house prices along the route as commuters return to the city post-pandemic.

"Buses can and should have bold ambition to be the driver behind positive economic and environmental change in 2021 and beyond.”

The Witchway service is run by Transdev subsidiary The Burnley Bus Company.

Public transport design agency Best Impressions has created a new image for Witchway based on its traditional colours of orange and black, and complete with a signature Pendle Witches icon to reflect East Lancashire’s pride in its past, present and future.

New features including:

· High-comfort luxury seating, with leather head rests in Witchway’s signature orange

· A choice of traditional duo and individual lounge seating, offering extra choice, space and style

· Spacious group and twin tables – ideal for the family to enjoy the journey together or for easy, comfortable workspaces

· Double glazing with tinted glass for privacy, class and a more relaxing travel experience

· Wireless and USB mobile device charging at every seat

· Superfast and free Wi-Fi to stay connected every inch of the way

· Low emission engines – meeting and beating the toughest environmental standards

· Full colour next stop displays showing live bus and rail connections at key calling points

· Witchway Book Club – with a great selection of reading books always at hand

· Contactless payments – swift and secure, with money-saving ticket options for everyone

· A glass ceiling to let in the Lancashire sunshine – and gaze at the stars when night falls

· The friendly voice of TV soap star Jennie McAlpine, announcing next stops and key information throughout the journey

The new Witchway buses are based on the proven ADL E400MMC double decker, built in Britain by the country’s biggest and most successful bus manufacturer.

The Witchway route makes connections with Transdev’s network of local and regional services at Burnley and Rawtenstall bus stations, and with bus, tram and rail services in Manchester city centre.