It’s been more than half a year since Bolton’s buses went yellow – with services, privatised in the 1980s – coming under the franchised Bee Network.

The network, which aims to integrate ticketing and improve reliability to create a "London-style" public transport system, has seen buses painted in yellow across the city-region.

Speaking in 2022, mayor Andy Burnham said he hoped the colour scheme would make the buses "an iconic symbol of Greater Manchester".

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However, the buses are becoming dirty – and it’s not gone unnoticed, with at least one passenger sending a complaint about just how dirty the buses are getting.

Boltonian transport campaigner Andy Brabin asked Bee Network support why the buses were so dirty – and it turned out that a bus wash at the Bolton depot has become "inoperative".

While the exterior of each bus is usually washed each day, vehicles are now having to be washed manually with a power washer, meaning a daily clean "isn’t viable", according to the transport agency.

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Speaking to The Bolton News, Andy said: “It’s a very bold decision to use yellow for the livery of Bee Network buses, especially considering climatic conditions – i.e. rain and subsequent dirty spray!

“Bolton’s buses are filthy externally and it apparently comes down to the bus washer being broken. With services being franchised, I wonder what penalties Go Ahead the franchisee are receiving for this shocking state of affairs.”

Transport for Greater Manchester’s head of bus network design and operations, Martin Shier, said: “We are working with Go North West to replace a bus wash at the Bolton Depot, which is currently out of service.

“In the meantime, one bus wash remains in operation, and some manual washing is also taking place.

“We are working to have the new bus wash installed as soon as possible, but apologise if any vehicle does not meet the usual Bee Network standards while these temporary measures are in place.”

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