Possible Stagecoach expansion in central Scotland

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robertclark125

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Two interesting threads on another forum have cropped up. One suggests Stagecoach may have bought either E&M Horsburgh of Pumpherston, and/or the Livingston or Bannockburn depots of First East Scotland.

Anyone got thoughts on that.

Secondly, another thread on the same forum suggests that Moffat and Williamson, which since 2008 has been owned outright by the Williamson family, has been sold to one of their managers, an ex Stagecoach manager. Again, any thoughts? Moreso, could such a manager perhaps be thinking of a bus war again, or perhaps co-operating with Stagecoach?
 
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mbonwick

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Bull****?

All of those operators are nowhere in relation to Stagecoach's existing ops.

The First depots are in the process of losing a lot of work, so aren't in the best shape to be sold. Besides, surely First would have kept the work if they were being divested and made it Stagecoach's problem?!

No idea on the M&W situation, but I can't say I see it as a big thing - at least the Williamson family know the manager and trust him to keep the quality of the brand up.
Co-operation with Stagecoach is unlikely, and probably unnecessary.
 

kylemore

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I think First is giving up the ghost in the Lothians generally, staff morale is non-existant and you only have to stand in York Place in Edinburgh and compare the quality of the vehicles with Lothian's to see they have given up.
I think it's more likely Lothian will pick up the wreckage, however there are hidden links between Souter and Lothian so who knows!
 

Swanny200

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I know the other forum that the OP is talking about and the person that posted it is usually spot on, First have only 2 really profitable routes for Livingston and rumours round here persist that they do not have much time left in West Lothian.

I must admit when I first saw it I felt like putting it up here, just that halfway through the post my PC went pop.
 

mbonwick

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All very well saying that, but who will buy a set of depots with 2 profitable routes between them and a fleet that needs some serious investment?
 

robertclark125

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All very well saying that, but who will buy a set of depots with 2 profitable routes between them and a fleet that needs some serious investment?

Well Rotala bought a whole set of routes off the Go Ahead group in the West Midlands that wasn't making a profit, and it does now. Same with Preston Bus (though having 6 fare increases in 14 months is one way). Stagecoach have done well in the past as well, turning loss making operations into profit making ones, and they achieved that with Western Scottish, so anythings possible.

Furthermore, a friend has told me, through his contacts at stagecoach, that the depots rumoured to be heading Stagecoach way are Livingston, Dumbarton, and Bannockburn.
 

tbtc

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E&M Horsburgh would be an interesting one.

I've said before that Stagecoach's expansion of Fife - Edinburgh services over the past twenty years (around two or three buses an hour when they took over Fife Scottish, now there's a bus from Ferrytoll to Edinburgh every few minutes) makes First's West Lothian services look pretty bad (e.g. Bathgate - Broxburn - Edinburgh was a twenty minute service for a long time under Eastern Scottish/ SMT, but look at how First chopped/ changed it).

However, given the marginal profit to be made on the (mainly tendered) services that E&M Horsburgh run, would Stagecoach not be better setting up their own operation? (the same goes for buying the First depots, with all their problems) - set it up from scratch and concentrate on a handful of key routes (like Stagecoach did in Glasgow all those years ago?)
 

overthewater

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Furthermore, a friend has told me, through his contacts at stagecoach, that the depots rumoured to be heading Stagecoach way are Livingston, Dumbarton, and Bannockburn.

Dumbarton? that not worth it, is it? two local services and Glasgow service. I wonder why Larbart not in the list. I dont believe that Bannockburn will ended up with stagecoach its to much interlinked with certain routes in Falkirk.


E&M Horsburgh would be an interesting one.

I've said before that Stagecoach's expansion of Fife - Edinburgh services over the past twenty years (around two or three buses an hour when they took over Fife Scottish, now there's a bus from Ferrytoll to Edinburgh every few minutes) makes First's West Lothian services look pretty bad (e.g. Bathgate - Broxburn - Edinburgh was a twenty minute service for a long time under Eastern Scottish/ SMT, but look at how First chopped/ changed it).

Half the problem is that scotrail/OFT have the claws in the depots routes thus there being dragged down. Many people are now taking the train which first also operate and will....... I think you can guess.


However, given the marginal profit to be made on the (mainly tendered) services that E&M Horsburgh run, would Stagecoach not be better setting up their own operation? (the same goes for buying the First depots, with all their problems) - set it up from scratch and concentrate on a handful of key routes (like Stagecoach did in Glasgow all those years ago?)

Just to point out most of the tendereds which Horsburgh have, are all up for grabs right now, and there could will lose them.
 

Blindtraveler

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M and w - well they, if they play there cards rite could win plenty work from SC as Fife contracts and maybe some in Perth and Kinross come up. Sc Buying Horsburgh? Cant see it, they have a good business and if discount the X Lothian Olies with those slightly suspect centre door conversions a good fleat.

Livi/Banackburn/Dunbarton First depots? Well livi I hear only makes anything really on the X Nordy travel runs and since the A to B with its 6 car EMUs every 15 minutes between bathgate/Livi and Edinburgh and the cut in journey times the West Lothian to Edinburgh runs are mainly I believe carrying round Grannys and fresh air.

Its first so much of the fleats in a state although livi has a decent silection of deckers does it not?
Not sure ö other 2 fpots. CC Would probs be happy although it would be a bit of an OG for SC If they win Scotrail as it would just go full circle again. Id love to see SC Get it though.
 

overthewater

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M and w - well they, if they play there cards rite could win plenty work from SC as Fife contracts and maybe some in Perth and Kinross come up. Sc Buying Horsburgh? Cant see it, they have a good business and if discount the X Lothian Olies with those slightly suspect centre door conversions a good fleat..

The only area which is up for tenders is the North east of fife, and I believe that is next year, and dont hold you breath the talk is cuts will be happing.


Its first so much of the fleats in a state although livi has a decent silection of deckers does it not?
Not sure ö other 2 fpots. CC Would probs be happy although it would be a bit of an OG for SC If they win Scotrail as it would just go full circle again. Id love to see SC Get it though.

Are Stagecoach up for it?
 

robertclark125

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Dumbarton is a surprise, because its so "out the way", but then, wasn't Grimsby Cleethorpes transport the same when stagecoach boguht it in 1993? That said, I would be surprised if stagecoach did buy it.

Looking at central scotland, again, surprises. Livingston is of course bound by the OFT restrictions re the scotrail franchise. But, if Stagecoach bought Livi off First, those restrictions go. In addition, the end of such restrictions allows stagecoach to make changes to services. Now that said, the local authorities would have something to say, but, perhaps people would be better served with a choice of travel by Stagecoach and First, bus to train links, or bus only.

What I mean by that is that instead of a loss making 20 minutes service rom Bathgate to Edinburgh, a new owner may reduce the frequency to 30 minutes, and use the surplus drivers and buses to offer a 15 minutes frequency on the route within Bathgate to the station, offering connections.

It means the bus route makes money, the residents of bathgate get a much improved town frequency, and also the benefit of more buses to the train station. Everyones a winner.

As regards Bannockburn, dunno how it would fit in, unless it was sold with Larbert, which then brings the issue of a few Fife school contracts up, as they could be moved back to Rennies.
 

robertclark125

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A thought I had tonight with a friend, and this really applies to just Livingston at the moment, but if Stagecoach were to buy the depot and the operations, is it likely that a new oeprators licence could haver to be obained? I'm not sure how many sare discs Fife has, and also, if they would be enough to cover Livi.

This could make it not so much a complex sale, but a sale that takes a bit longer than normal.
 

mbonwick

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Or, in the very unlikely event that Livingston was taken on, Fife could just apply to increase their number of discs.
 

robertclark125

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Or, in the very unlikely event that Livingston was taken on, Fife could just apply to increase their number of discs.

You're the stagecoach fleetlist guru, but do you know, by any chance, how many vehicles are allocated to Livi right now? Also, do you, or anyone else, knows how you can find out how many discs are allocated to a particular operators licence?
 

overthewater

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Livingston currently has 65-70 buses. Stagecoach would just asked for a new licence maybe stagecoach Livingston?

Talk is muss may also be.getting shut afterall! And if Livingston is to go we won't know until July with any take overhappening probably not until late September at the earliest, if you know why.
 
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