31 July 2010

Reorganisations affect real people

I always try to be careful when it comes to reporting rumours especially when peoples jobs are at risk. If I hear something interesting, and it comes from several sources I will usually try and research a bit, ask a few people who should be 'in the know' and then often wait for some sort of official announcement. I can recall how difficult it was for some staff at Citybus when the sale was announced by the council, and then Go-Ahead took over and staff knew there would be some job cuts but were waiting to see who. I work in the Finance Department at Derriford Hospital and every day you watch the news you see stories of massive job cuts in the NHS and locally we can see Plymouth is not going to escape these cuts. Its not a great feeling, but life goes on...
One rumour which has popped up again recently has been that First Devon and Cornwall has been put up for sale. I have had several people ask me if I knew anything about this recently. It must be said that this is a rumour that comes around frequently, usually just after any service cuts, or depot sales, of which there have been plenty over the years. Of course the company never has been sold, and if anything the last couple of years has seen quite a turn around of the company, in Plymouth at least. However now we see FDC cutting back its Ugobus network with a couple of its new routes being cancelled shortly.
A comment left on this site

the talk at the first depot is still that we are up for sale, everything's dwindling away where will we be in 6 months or a years time???

The other rumour was that Devon and Cornwall was being merged with the Hampshire and Dorset operations. This one does seem to be happening although I have yet to see any official announcement on the net. I hear an announcement has been made to staff.
The excellent Omnibuses blog posted on the re-organisation of management at First Potteries which effectively gets split between Manchester and Midlands. Last year Essex and Eastern Counties were also merged.

As is often the case with Omnibuses the comments are well worth a read. In the comments to the PMT / Manchester merger we see it pointed out that

First have also announced the merger of the Bristol and South Wales operations and then further down we get to these two comments:
There is a rumour that First is looking to divest all or some of it's Devon and Cornwall operation. I wonder if there is any truth in that and would they just close it down or sell it?

First Devon & Cornwall is merging with First Hampshire & Dorset - announced yesterday

It seems that this is indeed now the case and that First Devon and Cornwall will indeed soon merge with Hampshire and Dorset under the control of Marc Reddy who is currently looking after D&C from his Hampshire base anyway. (Although it was last reported to staff that he was leaving D&C and just keeping H&D). It is clear that the company is going to be run from the Hampshire side and that will mean changes for Plymouth. In terms of bus operations it will be business as usual and passengers are unlikely to notice. The people most affected will be the clerical and admin staff at Plymouth. I don't know how many people will be 'at risk' at this moment in time but I am sure they will know they are at risk and that is not a pleasant feeling. As someone who is also in an area which faces massive changes which will result in job losses I can understand how you feel right now.
First 52515 S515RWP

Musings in Monochrome: Mum feeding her foal
Omnibuses: On low floors and wheelchairs
Leon Daniels: has had a good day...American Werewolf in London


  1. First are looking to standardise their operations accross the UK as currently each company has different positions and number of staff.

  2. I for one am glad that it appears First are staying here, I do hope that they now look to expand their operation in Plymouth again, as this must be the most lucrative peice of D & C operation ?? I would suggest adding an evening service to it's popular UGOBUS 11, 12 and 15 routes and show it's customers they are operating for them!! Then how about Whitleigh etc. I am sure there is money to be made in the light of immiment Citybus cuts!!!

  3. I toll would like to see Ugobus expand and have more evening services, but they are cutting back a lot at the moment. The 11 was already cut back quite a bit from when it started as it did have a fairly decent evening service. First have been cutting a lot more than Citybus. Their fares are quite a bit higher too. I wish it was different.


Have something interesting to say? Please share it here!

(Moderation is currently switched on so please allow a short while before your comment appears on the site. This is only to cut down on spam - not to cut out people who disagree with me!)