Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has confirmed Leigh will take part in a trial for a 24-hour night bus service starting this summer.

He said two bus services will be involved in the trial, including the the V1 Leigh to Manchester Royal Infirmary service and the number 36 Bolton to Piccadilly Gardens route.

Mr Burnham added that it was his "firm intention" to have a network of night buses as the Bee Network is developed.

As part of the new network, bus routes, timetables and more are controlled by Transport for Greater Manchester.

The project, which was launched in Wigan and Bolton in September last year, will be fully rolled out by January 2025.

Leigh Journal: Bolton will take part in a trial for a new night bus service run by the Bee NetworkBolton will take part in a trial for a new night bus service run by the Bee Network (Image: TfGM)

Mr Burnham said: “The point of taking control of buses is to introduce things that we’ve long wanted to have for our residents.

“Greater Manchester is changing as a city region as you can see, we’re becoming a 24/7 economy.

"We’re conscious that people are travelling from our city region to work at all hours of the day and night, and that’s why we’re confirming that we will bring forward a pilot later this year for night buses.

“The pilot will begin in the summer subject to an agreement with our partners, the operators and the trade unions, but the pilot we hope will begin in the summer.”

The mayor added that the two routes were examples of journeys where there is “a big call for a night bus service".

He said the services will run hourly throughout the night before the daytime timetable begins.  

Mr Burnham added: “My ambition as mayor is to have an extensive night bus network across Greater Manchester as we build the Bee Network, the pilot is to flush out the issues and find out what demand there is for it.

“We know there are people working in the NHS and in the night time economy who need a cheaper way of getting home.”

The mayor’s comments came as he launched the second phase of bus franchising at a press conference at Bury Interchange on Monday.

From March 24, half of Greater Manchester’s bus services will be under local control when phase two of bus franchising launches in Oldham, Rochdale and parts of Bury, Salford and north Manchester.

Bus service improvements include more frequent and earlier and later services, pre-franchise service reductions reversed, and plans being developed to improve performance on the worst performing routes.

Improvements will also be made to the Bee Network app including the introduction of a new journey planner and bus tracker function.