First Midland Bluebird

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
Waited until official announcement at 13.00:

First are to pull out of East Lothian and both Depots NB and Muss are to close. ( Look down at bottom of page 1 of detail of Scottish borders)

This is a SAD day for Eastern Scottish, the once grand empire, but its been on the cards for years and its been will know, The clues were all there Accounts which highlighted awful losses, lack of new buses.

Hopeful All staff will be able to transfered to other companies and other First depots.

BUT now we can moved forward and look at all the good thats taken place within Midland Bluebird. New buses, revised networks and new Zonal tickets its a bright future now for FIRST in Central Scotland!

http://www.route-one.net/articles/Operations/First_proposes_to_cease_operations_in_West_Lothian

First Scotland East confirms that it proposes to cease bus operations in East Lothian from 14 August 2016 and close depots in North Berwick and Musselburgh

First Scotland East (FSE) says that its operations in North Berwick and Musselburgh have not been viable for a number of years, despite working hard to turn the business around and attract sufficient customers in what has become an increasingly competitive market.

The company had also been compelled to maintain the substantial part of its network through undertakings agreed some 14 years ago following an investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.


Closures will allow FSE to focus on its other operations, it says
FSE was recently released from these undertakings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). In order to put the business on a sound footing for the future, the operator has now decided, following a review, to propose this action and allow it to focus resources in areas where customer demand and satisfaction is growing.

Paul McGowan, Managing Director of First Scotland East, says: Im disappointed that were proposing to withdraw from Musselburgh and North Berwick. We will today engage with the local authority on the future of bus services.

However, given there are other bus operators that operate in and around the area, Im confident if we decide to go ahead with these proposals the majority of our customers wont be left without a service.

FSE also confirmed it has started the collective consultation process with Trade Unions on the proposed closure of Musselburgh and North Berwick bus depots.

Redundancies expected among the workforce based across both locations and in supporting roles, if the proposal is implemented. A total of 88 positions are now classed as at risk.

Mr McGowan says: I am sorry that we are having to discuss the proposal to discontinue services and consider the possibility of redundancies.

I must stress our proposals do not, in any way, reflect the commitment and quality of our employees in the area. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism and dedication. We will be doing everything we can to assist those affected.

He adds: Unfortunately, weve incurred losses in East Lothian for years. Should the proposal be implemented this will allow us to concentrate our investment in West Lothian, the Borders and the Central Belt, improving our services for customers and growing our operations in those areas, helping protect jobs in the long term.

Prior to todays announcement, First Scotland East began its official consultation process with affected colleagues. This will include offering opportunities in other areas. The company also provided notice to the Traffic Commissioner and the Local Authority of its intention to cease running affected commercial services after the required statutory period of 70 days and affected tendered services after 90 days.

The East Lothian operations affected account for around a fifth of the First Scotland East operation.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/n...ALL_bus_services_in_East_Lothian_this_summer/

BUS company First Scotland East plans to end all its bus services in East Lothian this summer, it has announced.

All First's operations will cease in the county from August 14, while the company's bus depots in North Berwick and Musselburgh, if the proposals go ahead.

The company claims that its operations in the county "have not been viable for a number of years, despite working hard to turn the business around and attract sufficient customers in what has become an increasingly competitive market".

The firm said it had "been compelled to maintain the substantial part of its network through undertakings agreed some 14 years ago following an investigation by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission" but was "recently released from these undertakings by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)" and, "in order to put the business on a sound footing for the future", it has now decided, following a review, to propose stopping running services in East Lothian and "allow the company to focus resources in areas where customer demand and satisfaction is growing".

Paul McGowan, managing director of First Scotland East, said: “I’m disappointed that we’re proposing to withdraw from Musselburgh and North Berwick.

"We will today engage with the local authority on the future of bus services.

"However, given there are other bus operators that operate in and around the area, I’m confident if we decide to go ahead with these proposals the majority of our customers won’t be left without a service.”

The company also confirmed it has started the collective consultation process with trade unions on the proposed closure of Musselburgh and North Berwick bus depots, with redundancies expected among the workforce based across both locations and in supporting roles, if the proposal is implemented.

A total of 88 positions are now classed as ‘at risk’.

Mr McGowan said: “I am sorry that we are having to discuss the proposal to discontinue services and consider the possibility of redundancies.

“I must stress our proposals do not, in any way, reflect the commitment and quality of our employees in the area. I cannot speak highly enough of their professionalism and dedication.

"We will be doing everything we can to assist those affected.”

He added: “Unfortunately, we’ve incurred losses in East Lothian for years.

"Should the proposal be implemented, this will allow us to concentrate our investment in West Lothian, the Borders and the Central Belt, improving our services for customers and growing our operations in those areas, helping protect jobs in the long term.”

Prior to today’s announcement, First Scotland East began its official consultation process with those affected, including "offering opportunities in other areas".

The company also provided notice to the Traffic Commissioner and the local authority of its intention to cease running affected commercial services after the required statutory period of 70 days and affected tendered services after 90 days.

The East Lothian operations affected account for about a fifth of the First Scotland East operation.

For full details of affected services, visit www.firstgroup.com/scotlandeast
##########################

The MP has tweeted:
https://twitter.com/IainGrayMSP/status/735092031329083393

#######
http://www.scotsman.com/news/transp...othian-services-threatening-88-jobs-1-4136617
 
Last edited:

d1672

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2011
Messages
114
Location
Cumbernauld
HI,

Overthewater quoted, from First Group, I presume

"BUT now we can moved forward and look at all the good thats taken place within Midland Bluebird. New buses, revised networks and new Zonal tickets its a bright future now for FIRST in Central Scotland! "

I can't find anything about "New Zonal Tickets". Is this true or is the quote referring to the tickets introduced more than 10 years ago !!!!

Thomas
 

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
#########
BBC have now got the story,
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-36370496

STV has the story
http://stv.tv/news/east-central/1355177-jobs-at-risk-as-bus-firm-reveals-plans-to-scrap-services/

Alas First has yet to have any confirmation about anything on their website, whether its First Scotland, or First Group. Also because the school contracts need to go back out to tender, its not know at this moment of time where staff could move on to at this moment of time.

HI,

Overthewater quoted, from First Group, I presume

"BUT now we can moved forward and look at all the good thats taken place within Midland Bluebird. New buses, revised networks and new Zonal tickets its a bright future now for FIRST in Central Scotland! "

I can't find anything about "New Zonal Tickets". Is this true or is the quote referring to the tickets introduced more than 10 years ago !!!!

Thomas
Really? You not seen the NEW Falkirk ticket?



https://www.firstgroup.com/south-east-and-central-scotland/more/save-falkirk
 
Last edited:

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
Last edited:

sng7

Member
Joined
22 Oct 2013
Messages
157
Location
Edinburgh
Well Lothian have been advertising loads recently for qualified pcv drivers to "expand there network" so looks like they have a plan and hopefully it will mean the first drivers who want a job with them can get one.
 

ian1944

Member
Joined
13 Dec 2012
Messages
300
Location
North Berwick
For years, there have been passenger complaints about the quality and reliability of the vehicles on the Dunbar, Haddington and North Berwick to/from Edinburgh services. A common view seems to be that Lothian is the obvious replacement for First (presumably in green with their zoned-fare uplift) - certainly the vehicles and reliability would be better. Eve of Dunbar and Prentice of Haddington are obvious possibilities, but I wonder about Perryman. Their existing 253 Edinburgh - Haddington - Dunbar - Berwick is about two-hourly Monday to Saturday daytime, so a more intensive service over the western end would be a natural extension. And could the North Berwick garage be taken over to operate between there and Edinburgh, and (given the disappearance of buses there at present for schools) maybe it's large enough to partially-supply the other East Lothian corridor as well?
 

oldman

Member
Joined
26 Nov 2013
Messages
660
I would imagine Lothian will step in, so nobody (passenger wise) will be too upset.
There is some network overlap to Haddington which might be 'rationalised'. Currently 5 an hour to town (not so long ago 2) + 1 to Musselburgh. So there might be some losers, as when Midlothian closed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Does this affect any services of Firsts in Edinburgh?
They run the offpeak and weekend 18 for the city council from Musselburgh.
 
Last edited:

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
NOTE: Service no18 is up for retendering over this summer aswell, with plans to double the frequency.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
#####

Its getting worse than...

http://www.bordertelegraph.com/news/14513368.First_Bus_bombshell_for_the_Borders/

COMMUTERS in the Borders have been dealt a blow with the news that First Bus could be set to pull the majority of its bus services in the region.


Under new proposals, town services in Hawick, Galashiels, Peebles and Melose would be removed completely, whilst the X95 would be reduced to an hourly service between Galashiels to Edinburgh.


The services affected would be the numbers 8, 9, 61, 67, 68, 73, 75, 76, 77, 90a, X95 and 397.


Should the plans get the go-ahead, the services would cease from August 14.


When contacted by the Border Telegraph, a spokesperson for First Bus said:


“It's important to note this remains a proposal and a period of consultation will now take place. We are speaking to Scottish Borders Council and other organisations in the region to work out the best approach to the challenges we currently face.”
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
53,308
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
Does London need any buses when it has trains?
Does Milton Keynes need buses as it too has trains??? Seriously?????
Erm, both of those are large places with significant internal travel demand. North Berwick is a very small town.

I certainly don't see any great need to provide bus services that only directly compete with rail services. Though Port Seton, Aberlady, Gullane and Dirleton might need something.
 
Last edited:

Zoidberg

Established Member
Joined
27 Aug 2010
Messages
1,270
Location
West Midlands
Erm, both of those are large places with significant internal travel demand. North Berwick is a small town.

I certainly don't see any great need to provide bus services that only directly compete with rail services. Though Aberlady, Gullane and Dirleton might need something.
You show little understanding of North Berwick and its environs.
 

THarris123

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2014
Messages
2,823
Location
Wells, Somerset
What does the Edinburgh-North Berwick bus service do that the train doesn't other than serve those few places?
See now I always thought that was the point of a bus service - it joins up small villages and places where the train doesn't serve with larger towns and cities.

Its not a very good argument really you have there.
 

DunsBus

Member
Joined
12 Jan 2013
Messages
457
Location
Duns
There is some network overlap to Haddington which might be 'rationalised'. Currently 5 an hour to town (not so long ago 2) + 1 to Musselburgh. So there might be some losers, as when Midlothian closed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


They run the offpeak and weekend 18 for the city council from Musselburgh.
First's contract for the 18 is up in July, at the end of the five-year period. It's returning to Lothian after then.
 

THarris123

Established Member
Joined
20 Apr 2014
Messages
2,823
Location
Wells, Somerset
Just looking at the fleetlist for Musselburgh and there doesn't seem to be too much cr*p there. Newest stuff is 57 plate and there is 1 Y reg decker, as well as a few 51/02 reg deckers. Doesn't look too bad compared to some First depots. I expect most of the vehicles will go to Larbert?
 

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
6,850
Just looking at the fleetlist for Musselburgh and there doesn't seem to be too much cr*p there. Newest stuff is 57 plate and there is 1 Y reg decker, as well as a few 51/02 reg deckers. Doesn't look too bad compared to some First depots. I expect most of the vehicles will go to Larbert?
There had just been sent to Muss over the past 12 months, it will depend on the school contracts won or lost if the fleet moves to the central belt.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
#####

https://www.facebook.com/iaingrayeastlothian/posts/1036869103044864

Iain Gray the MSP has made a response. Very fair comments and it seems he blaming First group nationally.
 

robertclark125

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2008
Messages
1,567
Location
Cardenden, Fife
I can tell you that last year, a friend of mine, who is, like me, a volunteer with the Lothian Bus Consortium, at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, said, once they had enough drivers, the firm he drives for, Lothian Buses, were going to aim for North Berwick. So I imagine Lothian will now make that move. And a depot in North Berwick is an option, just buy the existing one from First.

Someone mentioned on here about Northampton, I'll repeat these views I said before. If you look at the areas of First that have struggled in recent years, been sold, or closed, in the main, the areas affected have been ex GRT bits. Northampton was ex GRT. Parts of eastern counties have struggled, ex GRT. Now we see total exit from East Lothian. Ex GRT. The borders has been decimated. Ex GRT.

I accept other bits that weren't ex GRT have struggled. But, when you look at what happened, the damage was done by the GRT influence.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
9,380
I can tell you that last year, a friend of mine, who is, like me, a volunteer with the Lothian Bus Consortium, at the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum, said, once they had enough drivers, the firm he drives for, Lothian Buses, were going to aim for North Berwick. So I imagine Lothian will now make that move. And a depot in North Berwick is an option, just buy the existing one from First.

Someone mentioned on here about Northampton, I'll repeat these views I said before. If you look at the areas of First that have struggled in recent years, been sold, or closed, in the main, the areas affected have been ex GRT bits. Northampton was ex GRT. Parts of eastern counties have struggled, ex GRT. Now we see total exit from East Lothian. Ex GRT. The borders has been decimated. Ex GRT.

I accept other bits that weren't ex GRT have struggled. But, when you look at what happened, the damage was done by the GRT influence.
Don't recollect North Devon ever being influenced by GRT though. There, as in Northampton, once Stagecoach come in to compete, as opposed to agreeing a carve-up viz Manchester, it doesn't seem to take too long for First to capitulate.
 

oldman

Member
Joined
26 Nov 2013
Messages
660
The borders has been decimated. Ex GRT.
I don't think you can blame GRT for the reopening of the railway which has inevitably hit the x95. Several of the other proposed cuts are subsidised services (not sure about the Hawick locals) and the Borders is not unique in losing local bus services.
 

Blindtraveler

Established Member
Joined
28 Feb 2011
Messages
7,705
Location
Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
Due to limmitations on the ECML the 1tph to North Berwick needs bus to augment it as well as serve smaller places. I doubt stagecoach will be interested due to both Lothian and Perryman not to mention plenty people around to take up any tendered work.

The borders is sad, but not unpredicted I fear
 

robertclark125

Established Member
Joined
12 Mar 2008
Messages
1,567
Location
Cardenden, Fife
I'm not blaming GRT for the reopening of the railway. What I am blaming GRT for, mainly after it "took over" Badgerline, is how it took its eye off the ball in the borders, and tried to compete with Lothian buses, but did so by cutting services in the Borders. Sure, some of those depots were small, Hawick had 14 vehicles, Kelso 12. But they were serving communities, and provided a decent service.

Last year, when I was in Hawick and Kelso one day, I saw a couple of First vehicles in service. The external appearance left a lot to be desired. What happens to the rest of the services in the Borders, we can only wonder.
 

Top