Greater Manchester bus network drives into the digital age

Paul Tustin 08 February 2022

A major Greater Manchester bus operator will move into the digital age with a new radio communications system developed to provide a range of benefits to the travelling public.
The new digital radio system designed and deployed by industry leader TES Communication Solutions will be capable of enhanced voice, data and fleet management functionality for the fleet of bus operator Go North West.

Serving regions across Greater Manchester, including Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Warrington, the upgrade will make the buses some of the best equipped in the UK to manage bus movements, enjoy reliable real-time communications, and enhance passenger safety.

Connor Lomas, of Go North West, said: “This upgrade to the latest technology will revolutionise the way we are able to manage our services with increased ability to communicate between drivers, inspectors and central control.

The travelling public of Greater Manchester will see the benefits and we will be working with TES to ensure this happens as efficiently and as quickly as possible.

Driver and passenger safety has been key in the design of the system. Dedicated control channels mean that emergency calls can be pro-actively prioritised regardless of system traffic, and a dedicated backhaul infrastructure largely independent of public cellular networks means that in the event of a major incident in key areas Go North West will still be able to communicate with vehicles to manage a fluid response.

The managed services agreement between TES Communication Solutions and Go North West will mean that TES also takes ongoing system ownership responsibility for the commercial and technical maintenance of the infrastructure sites that provide city coverage, the vehicle radios, and compliance matters including Ofcom licence management.

Steve Smith, managing director of TES, said: “This agreement brings a new level of service for the operator, people and communities using these buses across Greater Manchester.

We have a long history of providing radio communications to a significant proportion of the Greater Manchester transport network and this next step will upgrade the Go North West fleet and infrastructure to a technology fit for the future.

Our designers and engineers will be working closely with the Go North West team to deploy a radio network which is proven for large regional operators but tailored for Go North West’s specific operational needs.

TES also work closely with Transport for Greater Manchester and as part of a digital radio roadmap have delivered same technology digital radios for the latest generation of Metrolink trams. We are delighted to deploy a technology fit for the future of radio communications across the Greater Manchester transport network.