29 June 2012

First for Sale

FirstGroup is seeking buyers for seven different operations in England, according to a list obtained by Passenger Transport.

In the North West, the group is inviting bids for its operations in Wigan, Chester and Birkenhead, while in the Midlands the group’s bases in Northampton, Redditch and Kidderminster are for sale.

Also being lined up for disposal is an as yet unspecified part of its 163-vehicle operation in Somerset.

Full article on Passenger Transport

What’s for sale:

  • Wigan (116 buses)
  • Birkenhead (64 buses)
  • Chester (66 buses)
  • Kidderminster (20 buses)
  • Redditch (31 buses)
  • Northampton (35 buses)
  • Somerset – as yet unspecified (163 buses)

Note that Plymouth isnt on the list which will surprise quite a few people, however…

“We are developing opportunities for a number of disposals within our UK Bus division and the unsubstantiated information given to Passenger Transport does not comprise the entire sum of those disposals”


  1. This is good news if correct and Plymouth is not on the list for sale however I suppose it could be at a later date. If First are to stay in Plymouth they will need to invest in growing the Plymouth network or else there will be nothing left soopn if they keep cutting!!!

  2. Looks like First are having a fire sale! Very surprised to see Wigan on the list and no mention of Plymouth or Cornwall. Is this because the value of any sale would be considered too low to be worth adding, or are they as the article seems to imply still potentials for a sale. I hope that First hold on in Devon and Cornwall and look to grow the business. Southampton looks to be doing very well from my quick look there today and if First look to capture more territory in Plymouth I can see them doing well there.

  3. I would like to see a complete rework of First services in Plymouth like Southampton with a view to increasing their customer base. Perhaps some Cross city routes as Western National had years ago... Perhaps Woolwell to Plymstock (old 7/7a/7c route) or Saltash to City via Derriford/Crownhill/Mutley could be useful...this would give Saltash a refquent direct link to the hospital and Transit way etc!!

  4. I certainly agree with the idea of bringing back cross city services. Southampton's revamped services are in the main cross city routes. The network is relatively simple to follow and the frequencies are good. If the rumours are true of a potential PCB expansion into Ivybridge I think First should look to provide enhancement there. I cannot understand why Ivybridge is not considered good operating territory. If they brought back the old X88 and ran it say every 30 minutes (not going through Plympton) with an an X80 every 30 minutes - I think Ivybridge would get back on the bus. The 180 is slow and infrequent and so people won't see it as a viable travel option.


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