NIGHT buses are set to return along routes from East Lancashire to Manchester with a special free ride offer to mark this year’s Pride Festival.

The services, from Burnley and Rawtenstall to Manchester, are set to relaunch in the early hours of Sunday August 29 with bus company Witchway having planned the return to coincide with the Saturday night Pride Festival in Manchester city centre.

To celebrate the company will be offering people from East Lancashire free trips home from Chorlton Street in Manchester on the midnight, 1am, 2am and 3am buses.

Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “The welcome return of night journeys on our Witchway express marks a further return to normality for our customers, and with Manchester Pride in full swing this Saturday night, the timing couldn’t be better.

“Our Witchway buses start from Chorlton Street, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Homeground site at First Street where the Pride Festival’s big music acts will be on stage and close to the Gay Village Party, famous around the world as a staple of this amazing event.”

The Pride Festival is set to be headlined by electronic dance music star Sigala and singer Katy B, with a further top-of-the-bill act due to be announced this Friday and is expected to attract visitors from throughout the UK to Manchester.

From this weekend onwards, Witchway will be running buses every Friday and Saturday night and will feature “Sky Class” luxury features including a glass ceiling to allow passengers at night to see the stars and contactless payments.