THE SELNEC PRESERVATION SOCIETY
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THE FORMATION OF THE SELNEC PTE
As a result of the Transport Act of 1968, four large operating bodies were set up to run Bus (and local Rail) Transport across various regions of the county, including Merseyside, Tyneside, West Midlands, and the body set up for Manchester and the surrounding towns was named SELNEC (South East Lancashire, North East Cheshire).
Looking back at the composition of the fleets of these 11 cities and towns, as well as North Western, Wigan and Lancashire United, which were eventually added to SELNEC/GMT as it expanded over the years, it is interesting to note which organisations ran trams, trolley buses, front engined/rear engined motor buses, front engined/front entrance motorbuses, and rear engined vehicles. These were as follows:
|Trams||Trolley Buses||Front engined
|Front entrance/front engined motor buses||Rear engined buses|
The SELNEC PTE was officially formed in terms of its vehicle operations on 1st November 1969, and inherited the Bus Fleets from 11 constituent City and Town Councils being Manchester, Salford, Oldham, Ashton, SHMD (Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield), Stockport, Rochdale, Bury, Bolton, Ramsbottom and Leigh, totalling 2,514 buses.
Whereas the other three of these organisations known as PTE's (Passenger Transport Executives) took the colour of the largest constituent fleet, i.e. Liverpool Green for Merseyside, Newcastle Yellow for Tyneside, Birmingham Blue for West Midlands, SELNEC did not take the Red of Manchester or any of the constituent colours of any of the Bus Companies that were absorbed to form it, but took a political decision to have a neutral colour, thus ending up with sunglow orange/mancunian white, launched on 11th March 1970. This was somewhat of an anomoly as the Mancunians had been painted in pure white, but the "mancunian white" used with sunglow orange was off-white.
One of the problems faced by the new co-ordinated body was that all these various buses had very little interchangeability of mechanical or body parts, and could not be moved around freely across the PTE area as they wished. Each of the Operators they had inherited had its own specification for buses which, included practically every body and chassis builder in the Country. From the SELNEC fleet, only really Manchester and Bolton had developed their own designs under the influence of Ralph Bennett, but although almost all Operators had buses to standard body specifications, they still had non-standard fixtures and fittings.