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12 fascinating behind-the-scene pictures of final preparations for Bee Network launch in Greater Manchester

Passengers board one of the first of Manchester's franchised bus services on the Bee Network.
Passengers board one of the first of Manchester's franchised bus services on the Bee Network.

These behind-the-scenes pictures show the final preparations for the Bee Network launch in Greater Manchester.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, was at Bolton’s Weston Street bus depot to see off the first franchised bus around 5am.

A fleet of 320 buses will operate 50 routes – the first piece in place of a network eventually intended to span buses, trams, trains and bikes across the city.

Andy Burnham (R), Mayor of Greater Manchester, meets Go-Ahead drivers involved in operating the city's first Bee Network buses, along with Nigel Featham, Managing Director of Go North West (centre).
Andy Burnham (R), Mayor of Greater Manchester, meets Go-Ahead drivers involved in operating the city's first Bee Network buses, along with Nigel Featham, Managing Director of Go North West (centre).

More than 600 Go-Ahead staff were involved in overnight launch as Go North West took over the depots in Bolton and Wigan. These pictures show what they were getting up to during the final countdown to buses coming back under public ownership for the first time in 40 years.

Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Christian Schreyer, Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, at Bolton bus depot.
Christian Schreyer, Chief Executive of The Go-Ahead Group, at Bolton bus depot.
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, visits Go-Ahead's Bolton bus depot as the first Bee Network franchised buses began running in the city on Sunday morning. Left to right: Nigel Featham, Managing Director, Go North West; Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester; Christian Schreyer, CEO, The Go-Ahead Group.
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, visits Go-Ahead's Bolton bus depot as the first Bee Network franchised buses began running in the city on Sunday morning. Left to right: Nigel Featham, Managing Director, Go North West; Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester; Christian Schreyer, CEO, The Go-Ahead Group.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.
Staff at Go North West, part of The Go-Ahead Group, worked overnight to launch the first of Manchester's franchised Bee Network buses on Sunday morning, from depots in Bolton and Wigan.