History

1900

Warrington Corporation Tramways Department was established. A tramway system running along the five main roads out of town was constructed and, by the end of 1902, 21 trams were in operation.

1913

First petrol engine bus entered service.

1928

First tramway abandonment occurred and by 1935 the trams had passed into history. During the 33 years of operation, the trams enjoyed a proud record, carrying 225 million passengers, operating 15 million miles and recording just one fatality.

1935

Tramways Department became the Transport Department.

1940

Joint services across the town were established with Lancashire United Transport. In 1950, 39 million passengers were carried and the Department operated 83 buses. Post-war housing developments saw services extended into these new areas, and this process continued until the 1980s.

1963

The Transport Department purchased its first rear-engine double deck buses, a small batch of Daimler Fleetlines.

1986

Bus services in Great Britain (outside of Greater London) were deregulated, and the state/municipal owned operators were privatised or set up as limited companies. Warrington Borough Transport Ltd. (WBT) was set up as an arms length company, wholly owned by Warrington Borough Council. Since 1986, a policy of discreet expansion has been followed, the basic premise being that if money could be made by operating services deemed uneconomic by other operators, then WBT should assume operation. Thus, in the decade following deregulation, WBT expanded towards Leigh and Northwich on both commercial and supported services.

1995

Two bus companies (the then British Bus subsidiary North Western and the former P.T.E operator Merseyside Transport Ltd.) registered predatory local services in the Warrington urban area. From the outset, WBT chose to defend its operations in the town, with services reinforced to maintain market share and many new and second hand vehicles purchased to achieve this end.

1996

The "Bus War" reached a conclusion. WBT and North Western (Merseyside Transport having capitulated in August 1995) withdrew back to their previous operating areas, with the exception of Birchwood, where operations were assumed by North Western.

1998

The company returned to profitable operation and was able to start investing in a fleet replacement programme.

1999

Eight super low floor (SLF) Dennis Darts with Marshall Capital 40 seat bodies were added to the fleet. The SLF Darts incorporate a wheelchair space and are capable of lowering the floor to facilitate easier loading at bus stops.

2000

Major programme of bus shelter renewals takes place across the network.

2002

The company celebrates its centenary with an open day attracting 3,000 people.

2004

Awarded Investor in People status.

2004

Real Time Passenger Information, which now covers 225 stops, was introduced throughout the Borough.

2005

Reached Charter Mark Standard for our commitment to customer service.

2006

Free off-peak concessionary travel introduced.

2006

Brand new, state-of-the-art Bus Interchange opened 2006.

2006

Service re-branded as Network Warrington.

2006/2007

1 million additional passengers attracted to the service, resulting in a 15% reduction in morning peak congestion recorded in Warrington.

2007

Re-development of Golden Square, Warrington's main shopping centre. Company invests £2 million on 19 new buses and charges 1p fares on opening day.

2008

Becomes first UK bus operator to be awarded OHSAS18001, the international Standard for Best Practice in the management of Health & Safety.

2008

Company wins UK Bus Operator of the Year award.

2009

Awarded OHSAS 18001.

2010

Company wins National Training Award.

2011

Awarded Investor in People Bronze.

2011

Awarded Customer Service Excellence.

2011

Company buys 6 Optare Solo minibuses to complete the conversion of the local bus network to low floor and introduces the first low floor double deckers in the town.

2011

Network Warrington introduces its own commercial smartcard, branded 'Touch & Go!' and opens a travel information centre at Warrington Interchange to provide information and ticket sales.

2012

Six hybrid buses purchased with the assistance of a Government grant.

2013

Service 17 rebranded "Connect17". The service is extended to connect employment areas with where people live.

2013

Network Warrington launches the Midas card, a top-up smartcard designed to make travelling by bus easier.

2013

Launch of the new state of the art website & mobile app.