Top bosses at Diamond announced a massive purchase of new and improved buses for their North West fleet. Kit Vickery found out what that will mean for customers.

Diamond will welcome 128 new buses to their fleet in a bid to improve transport across Greater Manchester.

The company opened their Bolton depot to share the news, and the £25m cash-injection is only the tip of the iceberg.

Bosses announced their plans to change the way the firm operates their system – moving towards a public partnership method to push for faster, more efficient changes to the service.

The firm, which has owned the Weston Street depot for 193 days, has previously come under fire for its delivery of the service, with passengers seeing delays, cancelled services, and a sever lack of drivers.

Bosses at Diamond have held their hands up to the mistakes, admitting that this was not the experience they wanted to provide.

Bob Dunn, the managing director of Diamond Bus North West, said: "In our first six months here we've met a huge number of challenges but it's nothing we can't overcome.

"I want to learn from the good experiences and become more modern as we try to get rid of the bad ones as much as we can – we need to turn them round and look for the positive learning opportunities from them.

"We don't always get it right but we need to think about it and not make the same mistakes again.

"I know we can do this and that's what we want to do."

READ MORE: Diamond boss pleads for 'more time' to improve Bolton bus service

The firm also announced that it would be investing more money into the area to create a new office space for staff at the site.

Bosses hope that the new addition will help to improve communication, allowing the team to share ideas and increase productivity, leading to a higher quality of service.

In addition to the new investments, the company has recruited a customer experience manager to improve services across the region.

Recruiting additional drivers to counteract the shortfall the firm experienced at the start of its operations in the borough will help to ease the issues faced by the company.

Now, when some routes are not functioning correctly and leaving passengers waiting, the operations hub is able to send another vehicle out to run an additional service, reducing waits and easing pressure.

Mr Dunn added: "We need people to understand what we're about by getting close to the customers in a modern approach.

"I want to create value for customers through partnerships with businesses – if we can advertise a local cafe and get someone a free cup of tea then we'll do it.

"I keep using the word modern because that's what I think we need to be for our customers."

So far, the firm has spent £5m improving vehicles to strengthen bus routes around the borough.

The firm has hailed its takeover of First Manchester's depot as a success in a trading update.

In a stock market update for the period ending November 30, the outlook for both Diamond North West and its parent company was called positive.

A spokesman for Rotala described the trading during the last financial year as "in-line with market expectations", as the firm became the second largest bus operator in Greater Manchester.

This platform and the investments made are hoped to be a starting block to improve services across the borough, pushing for better services across the whole of the Manchester borough.

Gary Nolan, the chief executive of OneBus, a partnership representing bus operators in Greater Manchester, spoke at yesterday's event to support Diamond's plans.

He said: "Funding has been stripped out of the industry nationally. It's obvious that funding is necessary and services have been reduced - ones that are socially necessary but not commercially viable for companies to keep running.

"There are thousands of members of staff who go out there and do a damn good job every day and we need to work together to solve this issue.

"This move shows the government and politicians that firms are willing to make that investment.

"In the borough we can say that we're going to invest in vehicles and we're going to invest in people.

"People say that bus operators are holding us to ransom by not investing but we are investing in Greater Manchester."

The push towards public partnership will see Diamond work closely with OneBus and other organisations across the borough to improve public transport links.

Feedback from members of the public are essential, and Bolton bus users have been urged to report any issues to Diamond so they can assess any trends and work towards solving problems.