Author Topic: First to sell off 7 operations ?  (Read 16378 times)

Offline Dale

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First to sell off 7 operations ?
« on: June 29, 2012, 08:55:49 PM »
According to Passenger Transport:-

[and, not surprisingly, including Northampton......!!]

<http://www.passengertransport.co.uk/2012/06/first-seeks-buyers-for-seven-bus-operations/>

Dale

Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2012, 02:55:05 PM »
Dale

WELL !!! Whadya know !!!

Northampton up for sale at last although God knows who will want to buy it, still the earlier prediction that Northampton will become a First free area by 2013 might happpen sooner than that.

Notice Leicester is conspicuous by it's absence from the list.



Offline barryb

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2012, 05:19:29 PM »
There's a danger some of those could get nicked off them before they manage to sell them!

Offline Dale

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 08:18:18 PM »
Dennis,

Thought that would make you happy !

It's quite a nice size for a Centrebus or Yourbus operation.

Dale




Dale

WELL !!! Whadya know !!!

Northampton up for sale at last although God knows who will want to buy it, still the earlier prediction that Northampton will become a First free area by 2013 might happpen sooner than that.

Notice Leicester is conspicuous by it's absence from the list.

Offline Dennis Lloyd

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 09:24:07 PM »
Dale

It  certainly has made me happy, I notice you did not comment about Leicester, do you think Wirst will eventually sell off Leicester or do they consider it worth hanging on to.

(tongue in cheek comment) hopefully if they are keeping Leicester they transfer the delectable rubbish heap that is 38098 and 38121/2 into that fleet, give Leicester a taste of what it is like to have elderly buses transferred in like has been done to Northampton over the years.

Offline bmnpton

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 09:33:36 PM »
Surely would make sense for stagecoach to take on some of first routes or its operation. Stagecoach Northants had new buses , we got some for olympics and others in storage surely would it make sense when olympics for those all to stay to increase the fleet and take on some of the routes like 29/30 , 4/4a e.t.c

Offline TCD813

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2012, 09:40:53 AM »
Here's a clickable link to the article in Passenger Transport.
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Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2012, 09:48:46 AM »
I am sure this is only Phase 1.
First have talked of raising up to £100m from disposals, so they need to sell off quite a bit more!
As this is the Anglia and Thames valley forum, what parts of First East Anglia & Essex are likely to be sold and who are the likely buyers, bearing in mind the C.C/OFT are positively phobic these days about neighbouring companies and Go Ahead has suddenly gained a sizeable presence.
I think It has been hinted at on this forum that Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth aren't exactly money spinners.
Closer to (my) home, I think Slough is likely to be on the list, Bracknell is unlikely due to the Rail-Air/Green Line business.
Looking forward to the day when many parts of the country are finally 'First-Free zones!'

Offline hobohippie95

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2012, 08:50:35 PM »
I don't know, there started to bring diffrent managers into suffolk and norfolk to make more money apparently...
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Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 05:54:08 PM »
Just been musing on who would buy (any) First Bus operations, one key determining factor of course is Finance.
Given the current economic state of affairs it will be very hard for small bus companies to raise the capital required.
So that reduces the most likely would be purchasers down to: -
1. The big three - Stagecoach, Arriva and Go Ahead.
2. The next tier down - Nat Express, RATP, Transdev, & Wellglade.
3. EYMS, Centrebus & Rotala.
Have I missed any names off this list?
Any members have any knowledge of who is in a position to buy and who is not?

Its possible that Lothian might try and buy Musselburgh (if CC allow) assuming that they needed the extra depot space if and when Musselburgh closes.
I suppose that a small company might be able to raise the cash to buy the likes of Haverfordwest/Hereford/Harwich/Clacton/Yeovil.
I wonder if we might see buyers selling off the property(depots) for redevelopment and moving operations to a rented site?
Interesting times ahead.

Offline Cheltonian

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 07:32:14 PM »
On current performance, can't see Wellglade being included. Very disappointed with them recently. Standards seem to be dropping especially with T.M Travel and their 50% involvement in High Peak
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Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 08:41:30 AM »
On current performance, can't see Wellglade being included. Very disappointed with them recently. Standards seem to be dropping especially with T.M Travel and their 50% involvement in High Peak
I think you need to view Wellglade as seperate companies not a group, Trent Barton are very good (largely!) but they have nothing to do with TM Travel, Kinch Bus, Notts & Derby or High Peak, so each will have different standards, procedures etc (and I'm not sure how good the Dove Holes operation actually was in reality).

However I can't see Wellglade being involved in any First sell of as there aren't any operations near them up for sale, and they haven't stretched outside that established area of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire & Leicestershire except the small slide across the border into South Yorkshire with TM Travel.  They may have been interested in Leicester which adjoins them (but may be a bit big for them to buy) but that Northampton is a bit isolated as is anything else.

Offline Cheltonian

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 06:59:04 PM »
IIRC Trent Motor Traction used to have a small shareholding in Leicester Citybus with an option to purchase. I think it was a pay-off when Leicester Citybus purchased the Loughborough operations from them. I believe they sold off this option around the time that Leicester Citybus was privatised. This was long before Wellglades involvement with Kinchbus
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TomTheRhymer

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 07:40:04 PM »
IIRC Trent Motor Traction used to have a small shareholding in Leicester Citybus with an option to purchase. I think it was a pay-off when Leicester Citybus purchased the Loughborough operations from them. I believe they sold off this option around the time that Leicester Citybus was privatised. This was long before Wellglades involvement with Kinchbus
If http://www.worksmart.org.uk/company/company.php?id=02000072 is accurate then Trent still have a shareholding in the company.

Edit: First's annual report confirms that they only hold 94% of the ordinary shares (but 100% of the redeemable cumulative preference shares).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 09:50:20 PM by TomTheRhymer »

Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2012, 06:53:10 AM »
Just been announced that First is to close it's Barnstaple operation, staff under consultation etc.
After Stagecoach pulled it's offer when threatened with an OFT referral, this was inevitable.
So all the staff under threat of redundancy, routes de-registered, Cornwall Council Transport dept probably having a collective 'heart attack'.
I would guess that Stagecoach will probably register some of the routes and hopefully take on some of the redundant staff.

Offline dwarfer1979

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 08:56:50 AM »
Just been announced that First is to close it's Barnstaple operation, staff under consultation etc.
After Stagecoach pulled it's offer when threatened with an OFT referral, this was inevitable.
So all the staff under threat of redundancy, routes de-registered, Cornwall Council Transport dept probably having a collective 'heart attack'.
I would guess that Stagecoach will probably register some of the routes and hopefully take on some of the redundant staff.
Cornwall are probably quite content but Devon may be having minor kittens.  On the plus side however there is plenty of notice to sort out new operators for the tenders (56-days plus the consultation with staff period so an end at some point in October is the earliest they can manage - if they cancel everything now they can make the end of September, just) and certainly Stagecoach will have been prepared for this ever since they pulled out of the deal and will probably have draft timetables for their commercial replacements ready to consult on so Devon will know what is left over very early.

Offline Dale

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 11:06:17 AM »
Given that some of the operations overlapped I wouldn't have thought that much would need to be registered by Stagecoach (or anyone else).

Of course Brian Souter now has £2.8m more to use if he wishes.....

Dale



Just been announced that First is to close it's Barnstaple operation, staff under consultation etc.
After Stagecoach pulled it's offer when threatened with an OFT referral, this was inevitable.
So all the staff under threat of redundancy, routes de-registered, Cornwall Council Transport dept probably having a collective 'heart attack'.
I would guess that Stagecoach will probably register some of the routes and hopefully take on some of the redundant staff.

Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2012, 01:16:14 PM »
Just been announced that First is to close it's Barnstaple operation, staff under consultation etc.
After Stagecoach pulled it's offer when threatened with an OFT referral, this was inevitable.
So all the staff under threat of redundancy, routes de-registered, Cornwall Council Transport dept probably having a collective 'heart attack'.
I would guess that Stagecoach will probably register some of the routes and hopefully take on some of the redundant staff.
Cornwall are probably quite content but Devon may be having minor kittens.  On the plus side however there is plenty of notice to sort out new operators for the tenders (56-days plus the consultation with staff period so an end at some point in October is the earliest they can manage - if they cancel everything now they can make the end of September, just) and certainly Stagecoach will have been prepared for this ever since they pulled out of the deal and will probably have draft timetables for their commercial replacements ready to consult on so Devon will know what is left over very early.
Oops -a 'Senior moment' ref Cornwall/Devon!
On a more serious note, I seem to remember that Stagecoach originally came into North Devon after winning tendered work, I know that they are competing directly with First on the Westward Ho! route but guess that much of Firsts route network is Commercial?
As for the £2.8m saved, well First might still sell the depot to Stagecoach.
If Stagecoach do register some of the ex First routes, I wonder what the Oft/CC will do? (Assuming that they can anything of course) Anyone have any idea of the legal position on this as this scenario could be repeated (Northampton etc).

Offline dandy

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2012, 02:39:00 PM »
Personally if bus companies are running into trouble with keeping their margins right and it's looking less & less likely they are even going to break even or go into a loss,if they have identified it's all due to cuts fuel rebates & competition,why stay,sell to another operator who may have a bigger slice of the cake in that area,no one runs at a loss for ever,the OFT should let these bus companies regroup,and then invite companies in to compete if they see a slide in services.

Offline Dale

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2012, 09:49:48 PM »
Stagecoach can register what they like - the OFT/CC can't do anything.

Brian Souter must be having a good chuckle.

Dale



Offline bmnpton

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2012, 08:41:06 AM »
Northampton to be next come on!

andrewbus42

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2012, 10:52:05 AM »
From CBW on Facebook...

Coach and Bus Week
Stagecoach has announced it is to launch an expanded
bus network in Devon in September. More in next week's CBW.
7 minutes ago · 2 · Like · 1 Comment
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 10:54:28 AM by Andy James »

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2012, 06:26:04 PM »
STAGECOACH ANNOUNCES EXPANDED DEVON BUS NETWORK

25 Jul 2012

New and expanded services to deliver vital bus links in North Devon
Improvements to be launched in September, creating some new jobs
Pledge to build on track-record of investment and good value travel
Stagecoach announced today (25 July 2012) that it is to launch an expanded bus network in Devon in September, providing new services and creating a small number of additional jobs.

The new network will provide vital bus links in North Devon and build on the company's track-record of investment and good value travel in the south-west.

Stagecoach employs around 900 people and operates more than 320 buses on around 120 routes across Devon and Somerset, and in the past three years has invested more than £13 million in new buses for the region.

The new and expanded services will be operated out of the company's depot in Barnstaple, which currently employs around 120 staff and runs around 50 buses. Around a dozen extra vehicles will be added to the fleet and Stagecoach will also be recruiting new drivers.

From Monday 24 September, the following enhancements will be introduced:

Service X7, an express direct service, will run hourly between South Molton and Barnstaple Bus Station
Service X9 will provide a link between Bude, Holswothy, Okehampton and Exeter, with services running approximately every two hours.
Service 21 will now operate between Westward Ho!, Bideford, Instow Quay, Fremington, Barnstaple, Braunton, and Ilfracombe.
Service 21A will now operate between Appledore, Bideford, East the Water, Fremington, Barnstaple and Braunton.
The expanded network will bring a boost to people in North Devon, whose services are currently under threat after First announced the closure of its Barnstaple depot. Stagecoach will provide:

A 20min daytime service from Westward Ho!, Bideford and Barnstaple to Ilfracombe with a 30min evening and Sunday service.
More links from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple Rail Station, particularly during the evening and on Sundays.
A 10min service between Northam, Bideford, Barnstaple and Braunton, with a 30min evening and Sunday service.
A 20min daytime service from Westward Ho! Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe to Instow Quay and hourly during the evening and on Sundays.
A 20min daytime service from Braunton, Barnstaple and Bideford to Appledore and a new hourly evening and Sunday service which extends to Ilfracombe.
A 20min daytime service from Ilfracombe, Barnstaple, Instow and Bideford to Westward Ho! plus an hourly evening and Sunday service.
A 20min daytime service from Appledore, Bideford, East the Water and Barnstaple to Braunton and West Meadow Road.
Michelle Hargreaves, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West, said: "We have a long tradition of operating high quality services for people in the south-west of England and attracting people out of their cars and on to greener, smarter bus travel.

"It has been our ambition for some time to provide a more comprehensive network for passengers across the wider Devon region to improve services and connections for the local community. To that end, we announced in March that we had reached an agreement to acquire First Group's North Devon operations. This would have allowed us to deliver a range of improvements to the wider bus network.

"However, we decided we could not justify further management time and expense on pursuing the acquisition following the decision by the Office of Fair Trading to refer what was a relatively small transaction to the Competition Commission. Instead, we have now registered new commercial Stagecoach services that will extend our network in the North Devon area and provide more journey options for our customers.

"The new services, which have been registered with the Traffic Commissioner, will start in September. We look forward to providing local people on our new routes with a high quality bus service and value-for-money fares."

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact: Stagecoach Group Communications on 01738 442111 or email media@stagecoachgroup.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The company employs around 33,000 people and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services. Visit www.stagecoach.com for more information.
Stagecoach is one of UK’s biggest bus and coach operators. Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's 7,900 buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The company's business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge.
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Offline passenger933

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 07:35:45 PM »
Good luck to Stagecoach in Devon I say. My experience of this part of the empire is limited to a recent holiday, where we sampled the Exeter P&R service ( very helpful drivers, good service intervals, reasonable fares and superb leather-seated E400 buses that had both my wife and mum expressing their approval so it must be OK!).

Offline TCD813

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 06:15:11 PM »
So, the decision by the Office of Fair Trading to refer Stagecoach's offer to acquire First Group's North Devon operations to the Competition Commission has achieived... What?

Sustained and sustainable head-to-head competition between two major operators? Er, no.

Security of employment for bus drivers, fitters and others? Er, no.

Certainty and clarity for bus users, Devon County Council and other interested groups? Er, no.

The acronym OFT should, perhaps be taken to stand for the Office for Fuddled Thinking who, of course, refer issues to the Confusion Commission.
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Offline SURREYMAN

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #25 on: July 27, 2012, 06:25:38 PM »
Balancing my joy that North Devon is soon to become a 'First -free Zone', is the thought that Stagecoach will probably only need to employ @30 extra staff at most for an extra 12 vehicles worth of work.
So the majority of First staff in Barnstaple are facing redundancy.
Devon County Council (got the right county this time!) will be under pressure to cover some of the routes/times that Stagecoach won't be covering.
The Ofts decision (and real world impact) really needs to be highlighted in both the national press and dare I say it Parliament.

Offline suffolkraider

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2012, 11:36:51 AM »
Rumour up this way is that Gt Yarmouth Norwich and Lowestoft are going but that was tea stall talk lol I think Norwich bit too big to get rid of maybe wrong but we shall see I know Lowestoft and Beccles bit of a war zone at times especially when you go to Beccles and all you see is blue and yellow not a first in sight plus they only got 1 school contract this year whereas Anglian got huge lump of them with a combined offer must stick in the old craw for First a bit
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 11:42:57 AM by suffolkraider »
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Offline dandy

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #27 on: August 01, 2012, 02:37:09 PM »
Bit of a comedian then are we??? shirley not,lets stick to facts and not rumour,every area is up for grabs according to some.

Offline suffolkraider

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2012, 05:12:48 PM »
As it was told to me via someone who swore it was true as it was a relation that told them I did take it with a pinch of salt but you are right it could be any area it just seems that First are not replacing some buses in some areas just running some of them into the ground, my partner travels often and is seriously thinking of biking again as the local darts are real boneshakers now and break down often. I will endeavour to be nosey and find out more, i also wonder after the Olympics how many of the new stuff will cascade this way lol
 
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Offline suffolkraider

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Re: First to sell off 7 operations ?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2012, 12:22:56 AM »
Well theory blown apart seems First buying in secondhand for Yarmouth and Lowestoft I just read
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