RailUK Forums
RailUK Forums > Other Rail & Transport > Other Public Transport > Buses & Coaches


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 3rd February 2017, 09:24   #1
BPWUser1
Member
 
Join Date: 19 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Default Thamesdown Transport taken over by Go Ahead

Being reported by BBC Points West, and on the BBC local live for WOE.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-38852750

Quote:
One of the last council-owned bus companies in the UK has been sold after the authority said it had "incurred losses over the past five years".

Swindon Borough Council said the sale of Thamesdown Transport to operator Go South Coast "offered the best value".

Councillor David Renard said it was in the "best interests" of bus users and Thamesdown Transport employees.

Go South Coast, said it would be "business as usual as far as our customers are concerned".
Conservative council leader Mr Renard said they were "one of the few local authorities in the country to still own a local bus company".

But "despite continued financial support from the council", Thamesdown Transport had "incurred losses over the over the past five years due to difficult trading conditions".

He said: "We have had to change the way we provide services across the council while balancing the ever increasing demand on adults' and children's services."


Andrew Wickham, from Go South Coast, said it was an "excellent opportunity" to develop services in Swindon and north Wiltshire....

Last edited by yorkie; 8th February 2017 at 22:50. Reason: added link & quote
BPWUser1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Registered users do not see these banners - join today!
Old 3rd February 2017, 10:25   #2
overthewater
Established Member
 
Join Date: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2,763
Default

Always thought Stagecoach might have gotten that one.
overthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 10:35   #3
bignosemac
Established Member
 
bignosemac's Avatar
 
Join Date: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 4,163
Default

Another municipal bites the dust.
__________________
Treading on eggshells in a minefield.
bignosemac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 12:06   #4
overthewater
Established Member
 
Join Date: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2,763
Default

I wonder who else bidded for the company.


http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/n...entSort=oldest


Quote:
THE financial plight of Thamesdown Transport was so serious that the council was urged to sell the company by March or risk it collapsing, according to information which has now come to light.

On Wednesday evening, senior Swindon borough ouncillors met behind closed doors to approve an offer from the Go Ahead group worth 7.2m.

The sale of Thamesdown Transport’s Barnfield Road depot was also approved with a separate price tag of 4m.

The deal with Go South Coast, which operates a number of south coast bus and coach companies, was officially signed yesterday.

The decision to sell the council-owned bus firm was taken amid concerns about its future financial viability.

Poor performance figures have been publicised before but now the Adver can reveal just how serious the problems were at Thamesdown.

Negotiations over the future of the company have been shrouded in secrecy, staff have been threatened with dismissal and the council has conducted their business behind a confidentiality shield.

Thamesdown bosses and council officers were concerned that should the scale of the financial woes become public prior to a deal being completed, rival firms might move in in a hostile manner.

The company was on track to record a loss of 149,000 at the end of the current financial year — this would have taken its combined losses over the past five years to almost 2m.

An annual management fee that Thamesdown was supposed to pay the council was waived in 2013/14 and no payments have been made since.

With the future looking similarly bleak and with no clear path to profit, the council sought expert advice last year on what to do next.

They were urged to sell the company, to do so as soon as possible, and certainly before the end of March.

Accordingly, bids were sought from established bus operators around the UK and of those that came forward, Go Ahead’s was the most attractive.

The Adver understands that the initial offer was in the region of 8.5m.

But due diligence visits later uncovered staff shortages in the engineering and cleaning departments, issues with cleanliness, faults with equipment and mechanical problems with vehicles that all pushed the value down to the 7.2m agreed by the cabinet on Wednesday.

That figure was expected to fall slightly further still prior to the signing of the deal depending on the final position of the company.

But while the council may be getting in the region of 7m initially, by the time financial obligations and pension requirements left behind by Thamesdown are accounted for, only about half of that, between 3m and 4m, will remain.

The separate 4m from the Barnfield Road depot sale is expected to be reinvested as part of the council’s commercial investment strategy.

As part of the deal, the council has sought assurances that Go Ahead will not sell the depot within the first five years.

Existing routes are expected to continue as advertised, services funded by the council will carry on in accordance with the local bus strategy agreed last year.

Swindon Borough Council said today that councillors agreed to sell the council’s shares in Thamesdown and to sell the bus company to Go South Coast at Wednesday night’s Cabinet meeting to "ensure Thamesdown Transport has a sustainable future".

A spokesman said: "The bus company has incurred losses over the past five years due to difficult trading conditions, despite continued financial support from the council.

"And with the council also facing challenging financial pressures of its own, a review of the bus company concluded that the sale of Thamesdown Transport to an established operator would be in the best interest of council taxpayers, Thamesdown’s staff and its customers.

"Following a competitive process Go South Coast’s bid was assessed as offering the best value to the Council, which wholly owns the company.

"The offer from Go South Coast, the terms of which are commercially confidential, was for all the cuncil’s shares and the freehold of Thamesdown’s Barnfield depot."

Coun David Renard, leader of Swindon Borough Council, said: “We were one of the few local authorities in the country to still own a local bus company, but the council is operating in a really challenging financial climate at the moment and we do not have the resources to continue to support Thamesdown Transport as we have been doing in recent years.

“We have had to change the way we provide services across the council while balancing the ever increasing demand on adults’ and children’s services.

“We believe this deal is in the best interests of local bus users as it secures the financial sustainability of the bus company, offers the best long-term security for Thamesdown Transport’s employees, and will provide vital investment.

"Go South Coast’s expertise will also ensure customers continue to benefit from a high quality bus service.

“The council will arrange a joint meeting with Go South Coast and bus user groups in the coming weeks so customers have the opportunity to learn about future investment plans and raise any issues or concerns that they may have.”

Go South Coast managing director Andrew Wickham said today: “This is an excellent opportunity for us to develop the services on offer to local people here in Swindon and north Wiltshire.

“We’re keen to point out that it’s business as usual as far as our customers are concerned. Any tickets or passes they have will still be valid, and our 85 buses will continue to serve existing routes with no change to timings.

Bus company sale given go-ahead
“That said, our ultimate aim is to enhance the services on offer here. As part of this, we will be consulting with local people and listening to the needs of those who travel on our buses.

"Our team will be engaging with representatives of local bus users about our plans to invest in local services.

“We are excited to be providing vital sustainable transport in this region, and I have no doubt our talented team will make a complete success of our new venture.

“I look forward to meeting with our local customers and hearing their views over the coming weeks and months."

The firm has appointed Alex Chutter, currently operations manager at sister company Salisbury Reds, to take the reins at Thamesdown as general manager.
overthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 12:29   #5
ChathillMan
Member
 
Join Date: 13 Sep 2010
Posts: 167
Default

I think Its in safe hands with Go Ahead to be fair.

Stagecoach would have done ok but I imagine completion authorities would have been in there like a shot. Least it isn't ARRIVA or First

Last edited by ChathillMan; 3rd February 2017 at 12:31.
ChathillMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 13:49   #6
pdeaves
Member
 
Join Date: 14 Sep 2014
Posts: 523
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChathillMan View Post
Stagecoach would have done ok but I imagine completion authorities would have been in there like a shot.
Exactly. For the benefit of those not in the know, Thamesdown and Stagecoach are the two biggest operators in Swindon by a very long way. The two operators do overlap a bit but mainly they serve different parts of the town.
__________________
GWR brand photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pdeave...57666733437443. Railway codes: http://www.railwaycodes.org.uk
pdeaves is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 14:33   #7
freetoview33
Established Member
 
Join Date: 24 May 2009
Location: Henbury, Bristol
Posts: 2,043
Default

I think some big changes will be a foot later this year then.
freetoview33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 16:09   #8
baza585
Member
 
Join Date: 1 Aug 2010
Posts: 223
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by overthewater View Post
Always thought Stagecoach might have gotten that one.
Impossible because the CMA would almost certainly not allow it.

What will be interesting is Stagecoach's reaction to Go Ahead taking over. There was no point in them spending money attacking Thamesdown because they couldn't take it over; but they may decide now to try to selectively compete on Thamesdown's most profitable routes (if they have any................).
baza585 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 19:07   #9
Mutant Lemming
Established Member
 
Mutant Lemming's Avatar
 
Join Date: 8 Aug 2011
Location: London
Posts: 2,073
Default

At the high point of 1966 there were 99 municipals in the UK now it's down to 10. I think places lost a little bit of their identity and character once their municipal bus services disappeared.
Mutant Lemming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2017, 20:51   #10
Busaholic
Established Member
 
Join Date: 7 Jun 2014
Posts: 4,910
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by baza585 View Post
Impossible because the CMA would almost certainly not allow it.

What will be interesting is Stagecoach's reaction to Go Ahead taking over. There was no point in them spending money attacking Thamesdown because they couldn't take it over; but they may decide now to try to selectively compete on Thamesdown's most profitable routes (if they have any................).
In Plymouth (the other municipal bought by Go-Ahead) the situation when Stagecoach took on First's interests in the city was that both sides immediately agreed a truce in competing services!
Busaholic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2017, 22:10   #11
overthewater
Established Member
 
Join Date: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2,763
Default

Whats the deal with Rosso? its seems its not in the best of health.
overthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2017, 12:51   #12
Robertj21a
Established Member
 
Join Date: 22 Sep 2013
Posts: 2,753
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by overthewater View Post
Whats the deal with Rosso? its seems its not in the best of health.
You could add a few more to that.
Robertj21a is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2017, 13:26   #13
overthewater
Established Member
 
Join Date: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2,763
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertj21a View Post
You could add a few more to that.
There is talk Rosso is also not in a healthy point, but why have there expanded then.

NOTE:There is no talk of sell off or anything like that, but council bus companies are having a tough time since their have no one to help bail them out.
overthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2017, 16:51   #14
TheGrandWazoo
Established Member
 
TheGrandWazoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: 18 Feb 2013
Location: Somerset with international travel (e.g. across the Severn)
Posts: 6,698
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by overthewater View Post
There is talk Rosso is also not in a healthy point, but why have there expanded then.

NOTE:There is no talk of sell off or anything like that, but council bus companies are having a tough time since their have no one to help bail them out.
Where have Rosso expanded?

Council companies tend to have limited operational patches and are also perhaps constrained by the relationship with their main shareholder. The current pressures on the industry have claimed many victims with firms going out of business - council firms aren't immune from those.
TheGrandWazoo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2017, 17:36   #15
overthewater
Established Member
 
Join Date: 16 Apr 2012
Posts: 2,763
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrandWazoo View Post
Where have Rosso expanded?

Council companies tend to have limited operational patches and are also perhaps constrained by the relationship with their main shareholder. The current pressures on the industry have claimed many victims with firms going out of business - council firms aren't immune from those.
Moving south into former First areas, where First has pulled out.

I'm surprised the none of the English council have joined together to create single company to deal with many of the back office functions to help stream line the operations or buy buses in bulk etc.
overthewater is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 20:09.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright © 2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© RailUK Forums 2005 - 2017