The Changing Map Of Bus Operations (Where Will It End?)

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tbtc

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There are always rumours doing the rounds about bus companies buying/selling operations, but in the past couple of weeks we've had confirmation of First selling out to Stagecoach in Devon and First selling a London garage to Go Ahead.

After years of consolidation there have been other changes over the last year (Go Ahead snapping up a couple of small operators, Arriva pulling out of the old Clydeside Scottish operations west of Glasgow...).

Any bets on whether this will be the end of the "musical chairs", or any other rumours about other takeovers/ sellings? First's "Scotland East" operation are allways rumoured to be vulnerable, there are whisperings about their "Mainline" operations in South Yorkshire too...
 
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First's current corporate policy seems to be focusing much more on profitability rather than expansion or territorial presence so I would not be surprised if any more rumours start floating around about possible sales of their operation elsewhere.
 

tbtc

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First's current corporate policy seems to be focusing much more on profitability rather than expansion or territorial presence so I would not be surprised if any more rumours start floating around about possible sales of their operation elsewhere.
Agreed. There are a few areas that they operate in where it appears to be more about "territorial presence" (which was more important fifteen/ twenty years ago) - Devon/ Cornwall/ Swansea/ Eastern Counties/ Scottish Borders etc.

But some other areas are increasingly mentioned (the North Lanarkshire part of First Glasgow, for example, which is the kind of relatively "urban" territory that First tend to stick to).
 

burns20

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On a separate note but related i read the other day that Stagecoach used to own 20% of Mainline in South Yorkshire, did they sell their share when First bought Mainline?
 

WillPS

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There are always rumours doing the rounds about bus companies buying/selling operations, but in the past couple of weeks we've had confirmation of First selling out to Stagecoach in Devon and First selling a London garage to Go Ahead.

After years of consolidation there have been other changes over the last year (Go Ahead snapping up a couple of small operators, Arriva pulling out of the old Clydeside Scottish operations west of Glasgow...).

Any bets on whether this will be the end of the "musical chairs", or any other rumours about other takeovers/ sellings? First's "Scotland East" operation are allways rumoured to be vulnerable, there are whisperings about their "Mainline" operations in South Yorkshire too...
I'd say the whisperings about SY are just that. They do seem to have an odd policy of complacency in the face of pretty serious competition though.
 

daniel3982

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First really do seem to be dropping the ball compared to Stagecoach in Sheffield who generally have better buses, cheaper fares and integration with the supertram. I avoid ever travelling on First in Sheffield if I can.
 

Polarbear

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One enclave of First's that is a bit strange is the Chester & Wirral operation as the predominant operator in the area these days is Arriva.

It's a matter of history how First ended up with just the Chester & Birkenhead garages of the erstwhile Crosville empire, (British Bus sold these depot's back in the early 1990's).

Today, First have one very profitable route,service 1 from Chester to Liverpool via Chester Zoo, Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port & Birkenhead. There other services only just cut their teeth or are within the Merseyside area.

To me, it would make sense for at least the Chester depot to be sold to Arriva, but of course life doesn't work out that way!
 

tbtc

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Today, First have one very profitable route,service 1 from Chester to Liverpool via Chester Zoo, Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port & Birkenhead. There other services only just cut their teeth or are within the Merseyside area
Has the doubling of train services from Chester to Liverpool affected the 1 much, or does the local trade to the Zoo/ shopping outlet (which the train cannot serve) keep it busy?
 

johnnychips

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First really do seem to be dropping the ball compared to Stagecoach in Sheffield who generally have better buses, cheaper fares and integration with the supertram. I avoid ever travelling on First in Sheffield if I can
In the bit of Donny where I live the Stagecoach (Old Tracky) services are £1.60 single to town but £2.10 on First. It's amazing how many people wave the Stagecoach services past -perhaps they've got First Day or weekly tickets.
 

Polarbear

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[QUOTEQuote:
Originally Posted by Polarbear
Today, First have one very profitable route,service 1 from Chester to Liverpool via Chester Zoo, Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port & Birkenhead. There other services only just cut their teeth or are within the Merseyside area

Has the doubling of train services from Chester to Liverpool affected the 1 much, or does the local trade to the Zoo/ shopping outlet (which the train cannot serve) keep it busy?][/QUOTE]

The 1 still seems to be pretty busy. As you say, it's main traffic is the intermediate stuff that the train can't really tap into.

Also, despite the all stations nature of the rail service, none of the buses are particularly competitive time wise (or even cost wise at the moment off peak) between Chester & Liverpool.
 
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