TfGM is asking Manchester communities to transform its old yellow school buses

Schools and groups are being encouraged to submit their ideas for a chance to win a free decommissioned yellow school bus to transform into something new.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 21st May 2021

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is giving away decommissioned yellow school buses to the local community for free this summer.

The transport group is encouraging individuals, schools, societies, sports teams and volunteer organisations from across the region to submit their ideas for a chance to transform an old bus into something new – whether it’s for reading spaces, quiet places or somewhere to meet new faces.

All entries will be judged on several criteria – including originality, creativity and benefit to the community.

Yellow School Buses are a service provided by TfGM for secondary school children in Greater Manchester, and are said to be “easy to spot” as a way of alerting road users that children will be getting on and off. 

This new competition has been set up to run once again following the success of similar schemes in summer 2018 and 2019, where six buses were donated to various bidders.


In 2018, the first decommissioned bus was delivered to Greswell Primary School in Denton, who used lottery funding to transform the bus into an outdoor library that is used by both students and the wider community.

The following year, Red Lane Primary School in Bolton turned their donated vehicle into a ‘Wellbeing bus’ and currently use it as a dedicated space to provide social and emotional intervention for their pupils.


Similarly, St. Stephen’s RC Primary School – another 2019 recipient – turned their bus into a reading area and tutoring place that has proven to be incredibly popular with pupils.

“Our yellow school buses are a fantastic service that allow children to get to school cheaply, safely and securely,” said Councillor Mark Aldred, Committee Chair at Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

“But even when their life as a school service comes to an end, they can still be incredibly useful to communities.  


“This scheme has been hugely successful when we have run it previously and I’ve been impressed with not just the creativity, but also the impact that previous projects have had on crucial issues such as child literacy and mental wellbeing.  

“I’m really excited to see what community-spirited and thoughtful schemes people come up with this year as we hopefully continue to emerge from the pandemic and return to normality”.


Fancy winning your own yellow school bus? Interested groups have until Friday 18 June to submit their proposal online before the applications are considered and the winning entries announced.

You can get your entries in here.

Featured Image – TfGM