09 April 2013

First Sell London

Industry News today:

Tuesday 9 April 2013
As part of FirstGroup's stated strategy to reposition its UK Bus division to focus on those areas that offer the greatest potential for growth, it has today announced the sale of eight of its London bus depots.
The bus depots at Alperton, Greenford, Hayes, Uxbridge and Willesden Junction, along with 494 vehicles and approximately 1,700 employees, will transfer to Metroline on completion of the sale for a gross consideration of £57.5m. Metroline is an existing London bus operator and wholly-owned subsidiary of Comfort DelGro Corporation Limited, a Singapore-incorporated transportation company.
The bus depots at Atlas Road, Lea Interchange and Westbourne Park, along with approximately 400 vehicles and 1,500 employees, will transfer to Transit Systems Group, an Australian transport operator, on completion of the sale for a gross consideration of £21.3m.
Both disposals are subject to the necessary regulatory approvals including contractual obligations with Transport for London.
Commenting, Giles Fearnley, First's Managing Director UK Bus, said:
"The sale of these operations marks further progress in our programme to reposition our UK Bus portfolio, recover performance and equip the business to achieve sustainable revenue and patronage growth. Our strategy is to focus on those areas of the country which offer the greatest potential and while we have been a key operator in London for many years, our focus going forward is on the deregulated market outside of the capital.
"Today's decision is a business driven one and does not reflect on the effort, commitment or individual performance of our employees in London and we will be supporting them fully as they transfer to their new employers. Over the years we have enjoyed a constructive relationship with Transport for London and look forward to working closely with them to ensure this transfer goes ahead as smoothly as possible."

First Group


  1. With the 88 and 180 going looks like First is giving up down here too, I feel sorry for the drivers

    1. You can't help but feel sorry for them, it must be so demoralising! It's not their fault at all. The driver of 3401 the other day on the 81A was stood on Royal Parade waiting time was still very cheerful and friendly to passengers, and it amazes me given the state of their Plymouth operations e.g. vehicles , some drivers manage to remain friendly and polite. Top marks to him!

  2. It says buses, depots and employees. I presume that means they are also transferring the bus routes themselves to the other operators?

  3. First are not giving up in Plymouth. The 88 never really took off..so it is best to use these resources on other areas in the city which make money...the enhanced 15 etc for example!

  4. I dont think the 180 is going... just the 88. Personally I think with a bit of work and fresh approach First could do very well in Plymouth and other parts of Devon... Citybus are not THAT GOOD you know as far as competition goes.

    First have improved advertising etc at bus stops.. and after selling London and other areas will be looking to improve in areas it has kept!!! They have far worse operations than Devon and Cornwall!!!

  5. 180 is going.

  6. First are a shocking organisation, they have given up on buses and would rather play with their train sets!!!!

    In the latest Buses magazine there are comments the length and breadth of the country complaining about how First operates its bus companies! This is obviously not a local problem and the sooner First leave Devon and Cornwall the better.

  7. Couldn't agree with you more and now see that they have lost the Thameslink franchise.


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