Belle Vue invests £6m in new coaches to serve fast-growing FlixBus network

Bus and coach operator Belle Vue Manchester has unveiled an investment of £6m in new vehicles amid further expansion of its partnership with the fast-growing FlixBus network.

Stockport-based Belle Vue has taken delivery of five new 53-seater Yutong GT12 coaches and has 18 more on order to arrive in its fleet over the next year.

Phil Hitchen, managing director of Belle Vue, attended a signing ceremony for the new vehicles at Yutong’s headquarters in Zhengzhou, China. The coaches are being supplied through UK distributor Pelican Bus + Coach.

Belle Vue began its partnership with global tech travel company FlixBus in February 2023 and currently operates daily express services between Manchester and a number of cities across the north and the Midlands, such as Leeds, Bradford, York, Newcastle, Stoke, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham and Leicester.

Belle Vue will soon add frequencies to and from Newcastle, York, Leicester and Birmingham and will launch daily services between Manchester and Bristol, with other new destinations set to be announced in the coming months.

The new Yutong coaches are painted in the FlixBus livery and feature a Bosch entertainment system, USB charging points, power sockets, free Wi-Fi, mood lighting and live coach tracking updates sent directly to passengers’ digital devices.

FlixBus launched its eye-catching green coach service in the UK market in 2021 and now serves over 60 destinations nationwide, as well as regular coaches into continental Europe.

The FlixBus network is the largest in Europe and now operates in 43 countries worldwide, including the USA, Canada, Brazil, Chile and India.

Phil said: “We’ve had Yutong vehicles in our fleet for a number of years and have found that they perform very well. As well as being a reliable product, the GT12 models have industry-leading technology on board and are popular with our passengers.

“We see this model, backed by the excellent Pelican after-sales and support system, as the ideal partnership to take our fleet expansion programme forward, and we are excited to be expanding our FlixBus offering with additional frequencies and new services.”

He added: “Our trip to China for the signing ceremony and to visit the production line at Yutong’s factory was a memorable experience and we were looked after very well from start to finish.”

Andreas Schorling, managing director of FlixBus UK, said: “We have found a fantastic partnership in Belle Vue, with our network going from strength to strength together, bringing high-quality. affordable transport to cities across the country.

“The team at Belle Vue share our passion, vision and ambition to build the largest inter-city coach network in the UK so we are delighted they have announced this investment, which will bring brand new vehicles on to additional FlixBus services.”

Amelia Crump, Pelican Bus & Coach’s north of England sales manager, said: “It’s been a huge pleasure for us to work with the highly professional team of people at both Belle Vue and FlixBus. I’m very proud that Pelican and Yutong continue to play a part in the expansion of the FlixBus network with Belle Vue.”

Award-winning Belle Vue carries 2.5 million passengers a year across the UK and Europe. It provides branded transport to a wide customer base, serving the education and corporate sectors, private hire and touring groups, as well as its express inter-city services with FlixBus.