Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Stagecoach Acquires Wigan Business from First

Stagecoach Group plc ("Stagecoach") has announced that it has agreed to acquire the Wigan bus business and assets from First Manchester Limited ("First") for a consideration of £12 million.

The business being acquired operates commercial bus services and a small number of school contracts, employing approximately 300 people.

In the 12 months to 31 March 2012, the business had revenues of £13.2 million, EBITDA of £2.2 million and an operating profit of £1.5 million. 

 Stagecoach and First vehicles in Manchester
The purchase includes the owned Locket Road depot in Wigan, as well as some leased premises in Wigan bus station, staff facilities and approximately 120 vehicles. Around 20 of the vehicles are owned by Transport for Greater Manchester, mostly as part of school contract operations.

The acquisition will allow Stagecoach to expand its successful bus operations in the Greater Manchester region, where it already operates around 630 buses and employs 1,850 staff.

The Wigan operations will become part of Stagecoach Manchester, which carries nearly 100 million passengers a year and is led by Managing Director Chris Bowles.

Staff will transfer to Stagecoach's Greater Manchester Buses East Limited business under TUPE arrangements.

Stagecoach expects the acquisition to be completed in early December 2012.

Les Warneford, Managing Director of Stagecoach UK Bus, said: "We have a strong track-record of attracting more people to bus travel and these new operations will expand our successful high-quality operations in other parts of Greater Manchester.

"We will continue to focus on providing customers with the best value fares of any major bus operator in the UK, investing in our networks and delivering punctual and reliable services.

"Our people are central to our growth plans and we look forward to welcoming our new employees to the company."

COG in Derby

Newly restored Coventry Daimler COG 5/40 was running on the streets of Derby last weekend. This ex Coventry vehicle dating from 1940 eventually ended up in Derby as a driver trainer.  After withdrawal it was stored by a museum until 2009. It was then acquired by Roger Burdett who has restored it to a high standard in original Coventry livery.

 The bus ran a series of tours from the Silk Mill in Derby

 Here the bus pauses whilst the on board guide gives a commentary

 The Park Royal body seats 38 passengers

 The bus has a pre-select gearbox linked to a 5 cylinder 7 litre engine.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

North East Bus Operators Association (NEBOA) have issued details of what they are offering in a Quality Partnership.

A summary has been published on their website which includes the following

• The public and private sector join forces to focus on the interests
of bus users, potential users and the people of Tyne and Wear
• Better value for money through cheaper fares for thousands of bus
users and savings in public expenditure, avoiding the costs and
risks that quality contracts create
• A simple approach to improving the overall customer experience
• A clear structure for proposing improvements and changes to the
bus network
• securing improvements in local services of benefit to local users of
local services.

Nexus and the Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority are also considering the benefits of a quality contract scheme within Tyne and Wear.
The North East Bus Operators say that a quality contract scheme would take at least two years to implement and incur set up costs totalling £2.5 million.

 Hybrids in Newcastle

A partnership agreement will produce immediate benefits for bus
users – guaranteed cheaper fares for thousands of bus users, savings
of a quarter of a million pounds for the ITA in the first year alone and
a stable bus network.

One idea being offered by North East Bus Operators is ‘bus-to-bus’ tickets, designed to meet the needs of people who travel on the buses of more than one operator but not Metro.

During 2012, the House of Commons select committee on transport undertook an inquiry into local buses. Amongst its findings, the select committee called on the government and the Office of Fair Trading to back Partnerships not Contracts.
The select committee also acknowledged that quality contract schemes are fraught with risks.
Not least among the risks is cost. Nexus has already spent £600,000 of public money in considering a quality contract scheme. The scheme would cost up to a further £1.9 million to establish and have on-going administrative costs of £1 million per year. A quality contract scheme is unlikely to be implemented before April 2015 at the earliest and it is not even clear that the proposed scheme can deliver what it promises or will continue to be affordable.
Conversely, a partnership agreement could be implemented two years earlier, in April 2013, avoiding £1.9 million of public spending and starting to achieve significant passenger benefits and savings for local taxpayers.

More details can be found on

Stagecoach Trading Statement

This morning Stagecoach have issued the following Trading Statement in advance of a series of meetings with analysts.

 click to enlarge picture

The overall profitability of the Group has remained good, and there has been no significant change to our expected Group profit before tax for the year ending 30 April 2013.

Like-for-like revenue growth for the financial year to date in each of the Group's main businesses is provided below.

UK Bus (regional operations)  + 3.6%  twenty four weeks ended 14 October 2012                                             

UK Bus (London)                    - 0.9%  twenty four weeks ended 14 October 2012                                              

UK Rail                                   + 7.9%  twenty four weeks ended 14 October 2012                                              

North America                         + 10.7%  five months ended 30 September 2012                                              
(including, excluding disposed Wisconsin school bus business)

Virgin Rail Group                     + 2.7% twenty four weeks ended 14 October 2012                                                

The like for like revenue growth of 3.6% reported for UK Bus (regional operations) excludes the revenue earned from the contracts to provide transport for the London 2012 Olympics.  The growth figures do, however, include any indirect incremental revenue at UK Rail and UK Bus (London) related to the London 2012 Olympics.

The 0.9% decline in revenue at UK Bus (London) is consistent with our previous expectation that some less profitable contracts would not be retained as we restructured the acquired business and improved its overall profitability. This reflects the revenue lost from contracts that ended during the year to 30 April 2012. For the year as a whole to 30 April 2013, UK Bus (London) is well placed to maintain revenue with contract losses being offset by some contract wins and inflationary price increases on existing contracts.

Financial position

In October 2012 the Group issued US$150m of loan notes in a private placement transaction with United States investors, which will mature in October 2022.  The funds raised by the issue were used to repay the bank loans that were initially drawn to finance the July 2012 acquisitions from Coach America and accordingly the headroom available under existing bank facilities has increased.  Further details are given in the announcement made by the Group on 19 October 2012.

Other events

Rail franchising

On 3 October 2012, the Department for Transport ("DfT") announced that the competition for the InterCity West Coast Rail franchise had been cancelled and that the DfT planned to conduct two independent reviews into both the specific InterCity West Coast competition and rail franchising more widely.  The Group welcomes the opportunity to participate in these reviews where appropriate.

Twin America

As previously reported, the United States Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General's Office are reviewing the Twin America joint venture, which was formed by Stagecoach North America and City Sights in 2009.  We understand that the authorities are now well progressed with their reviews and will shortly decide what, if any, further steps they intend to take.  Discussions between the joint venture parties and the regulatory authorities are ongoing.


Overall current trading remains good and the prospects for the Group remain positive.
Interim results

The Group plans to announce its interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2012 on 5 December 2012.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bury Transport Museum

We made a trip to Bury transport Museum recently. Many thanks to the friendly team of staff who made us welcome.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Steam Returns to London Underground

When the first London Tube journey took place 150 years ago long queues formed at each of the seven stations from Paddington to Farringdon.
London Transport Museum said about 40,000 people had travelled on the inaugural day.
And within six months 26,000 people were using it every day.
To mark the historic event in 1863 Transport for London (TfL) is putting together a commemorative service which will retrace the journey on 13 January.
All four components of the special train, which during their lifetimes ran on the Metropolitan Line, have interesting tales.
A 1898-built steam engine, known as Met Locomotive No. 1, will pull the carriages.
It is one of the last surviving of its kind but was sold for scrap after being the highlight of the Tube centenary celebrations in 1963.
The unwanted engine was bought by the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in 1964, but it took another 20 years for enthusiasts from Quainton Railway Society to restore it.
Adrian Aylward, manager for the centre, said: "The main challenge was raising the money and work had to be done on the weekends by a team of volunteers."
Metropolitan Railway Jubilee Carriage 353 
The Jubilee carriage is the oldest surviving Tube coach
Mr Aylward said they were very proud the engine would herald the 150th year.
Linked to the engine will be the oldest surviving Tube carriage, the Metropolitan Railway Jubilee Carriage 353 which was built in 1892.

After its retirement in 1905 the first-class coach was sold to the Weston, Clevedon and Portishead Light Railway.
But after the line closed in 1940, Tim Shields, curator at London Transport Museum, said it went on to be used as a shop, a clubhouse for US servicemen, a home and a farm outbuilding. In 1974 it was saved for the London Transport collection.
Met Locomotive No. 1 with Chesham carriages 
The Chesham carriages ran on the Chesham branch of the Metropolitan Line
During its many reincarnations its interiors were altered several times.
A restoration team at Ffestiniog Railway workshops in Porthmadog, North Wales, had to rely on photographs and drawings to recreate the fixtures.
Attached to the Jubilee carriage in January will be set of four carriages that date back to 1898.
Known as the Chesham carriages, they began service in 1899 when the Chesham branch of the Metropolitan Line opened.
After featuring in the centenary celebrations with the steam engine, the coaches were sold to the Bluebell Railway Society where they continue to run on heritage tours.
 ompleting the commemorative train is one of the world's oldest electric locomotives in service - No. 12 Sarah Siddons.
Named after a renowned 18th Century actress who lived in Baker Street, it is one of the world's oldest working electric locomotives.
Built in 1922, it was introduced to the network in 1923 to take passengers to Watford,  Uxbridge and Rickmansworth.
Sarah Siddons 12 electric locomotive
    Andy Barr, Heritage Operations Manager for TfL, said: "Sarah would pull the train from Baker Street up to Rickmansworth where she would be uncoupled and a steam locomotive would come on to the front. They would recouple in four minutes and carry on.
    "Because of its live electrical system drivers would switch on the power in the grids and cook toast."
    Since being decommissioned in 1960 it has been used to tow vehicles and runs on special tours.
    John Campbell, lead engineer for the project, said: "I have known about Sarah Siddons since I was an apprentice at the age of 16. So having Sarah here and actually working on her is truly exciting."
    The locomotive is being refitted with vacuum brakes to enable it to tow the steam engine and carriages.
    TfL said the special steam train to commemorate the first Tube journey will carry up to 300 people and run between Olympia and Moorgate, a slightly longer journey than the original route.
    Mr Barr said: "They [passengers] are going to have coach doors that open, they are going to have steam coming down through the windows and they are really going to feel as though they are travelling back in the 1890s."
    Mike Brown, LU's managing director, said: "London Underground has always played a hugely important role in the success of our city - from the growth of the early network which led to the expansion of the suburbs in the last century, to the development of Canary Wharf's financial powerhouse in the 80s, and on to today's system which successfully moved record numbers of people during the Queen's Jubilee and London 2012 Games."
    Special events will be held throughout next year to mark the 150 year anniversary.
    As well as heritage rail trips on the network, disused Aldwych station will be transformed into a stage for shows.
    The Royal Mint will also mark the landmark with new £2 coins.

    Link from Tony Wilson

    Saturday, 27 October 2012

    200,000 Page Views.

    At 09:19 this morning the Focus Blog reached another milestone in that we have now achieved 200,000 page views since the first posting on 14th May 2011.

    During the one year and five months that we have been running we have tried to bring you an interesting and varied selection of items (mostly) related to public transport.
    The Blog was introduced to supplement what was being posted on the original Focus Transport main site and which is still going strong and which is usually updated weekly. At the same time the FocusFlickr site was introduced which shows a wide selection of photo sets.
    Sadly, earlier this year Richard Lomas, who set up this Blog, passed away which was a tremendous shock to us all. Richard also had a tram blog which is still being updated by his wife Kath.
    The Blog doesn't write itself and is a constant drain on personal time, so it is gratifying to see that the number of page views varies between 500 and 600 per day and is sometimes much more than that if we post something that is particularly newsworthy. We could always do with more contributions so this is yet another appeal for snippets and pictures that would be appropriate. In the meantime thanks to those that have contributed and hopefully will continue to do so.

    David Gambles

    First News

    Timetable for First bus disposals dropped

    First Group has announced that its plans to sell underperforming UK bus businesses have fallen behind schedule.

    In May the Aberdeen-based group set a target to realise at least £100m from the disposals programme by the end of the current financial year in March 2013. However, to date, only £14m has been achieved from the sale of the Northumberland Park bus depot in London to Go Ahead seven months ago.

    First has now rescinded any set timescale for realising the £100m and acknowledged that the disposal programme is unlikely to be completed in 2013/14. It is understood that a number of potential deals have fallen through after interested parties contacted by First saw limited value in the companies for sale. Concerns expressed included wage levels and debt and the investment required to turn round the low margin and loss making companies.

    The Office of Fair Trading's ruling on the sale of First's North Devon business to Stagecoach, which effectively scuppered the deal has also narrowed the field of potential buyers.

    In a presentation to City analysts earlier this month, First's new finance director Chris Surch said that the group remained confident of raising £100m from disposals and that discussions with a number of parties were continuing. However, First was no longer prepared to give a date for achieving the deals.

    "In previous lives I've been very much involved in mergers and acquisitions and the one thing that I've learned is to be cautious on exact timing; and, clearly, you also understand, we don't want to be backed into a corner with giving specific dates on specific deals," Surch commented.

    "So the way I would categorise the disposal programme is, it will be when it will be, and if that goes into a future year, it goes into a future year. The key is that we're confident that we will achieve it."

    Greyhound axed as First races to get on track

    First Group has pulled the plug on its high profile Greyhound UK coach operation between London and the south coast.

    The move comes as the group considers radical steps that will enable it to pay down its £2bn debt mountain and restore investor confidence following the cancellation of the inter-city West Coast rail franchise competition.

    In summer 2009 First invited the media to a specially-erected marquee by London's Tower Bridge to announce that it would bring its iconic Greyhound brand across the Atlantic to the UK

    The initial routes, linking London with Portsmouth and Southampton with 40 daily departures, began in September 2009, using coaches refurbished to a high specification. However, expansion was limited and new services linking London with Bournemouth, Winchester and Glasgow were later dropped.

    From 17 November 2012, Greyhound's original London-Southampton/Portsmouth services will also be withdrawn. Four vehicles are currently allocated to these routes.

    "Unfortunately, these services are not seeing sufficient passenger numbers and therefore we've reached the difficult decision to withdraw the buses from the routes," said Marc Reddy, regional commercial and business growth director for First Bus in the South West and Wales.

    From 17 November the only remaining Greyhound UK service will be the Swansea-Cardiff route, which was re-branded as a Greyhound service in September 2010.

    Friday, 26 October 2012

    Nexus Bus Plan Overstated by £310M

     The colourful liveries of the major operators would disappear if Quality Contracts were introduced
    • Independent consultants Oxera conclude Nexus claims “not supported by evidence”
    • Review of Quality Contract Scheme (QCS) proposals reveals series of flaws in model
    • Some claims also contradicted by Government and Nexus commissioned research
    • Nexus pursuing QCS despite North-east having high bus passenger satisfaction

    Transport bosses at Nexus have overstated the "benefits" of its bus contract plans by at least £310 million, according to a report by independent economic consultants.

    The report by respected consultants Oxera reviewed the model used by Nexus to underpin its proposals to introduce a Quality Contract Scheme (QCS) in the North-east.

    It found a series of flaws in the model, with several elements of the Nexus plans based on incorrect assumptions and claims that are “not supported by the evidence available”.

    Some claims were contradicted by research commissioned by the Department for Transport and even Nexus itself.

    One of the most serious findings in the new report centres on Nexus claims around the impact of so-called "soft measures under a QCS, including smart ticketing and a customer charter.

    The Oxera report said there was no evidence zonal ticketing would increase bus use and a 2009 Department for Transport report found it may even reduce demand. Previous research for Nexus by consultants MVA “consistently found that ticketing was not a priority for bus users”.

    There was also limited evidence for Nexus claims that a customer charter would lead to increased bus use. Removing the unfounded uplift from these elements from the Nexus model reduced the alleged financial benefit of a QCS by nearly 40%, which amounts to at least £310 million.

    Oxera - which has advised companies, government departments, competition authorities and regulators across the world - concluded that “in deriving its model Nexus appears to have made assumptions about inputs and the outcomes of different interventions that are not adequately supported by the evidence available.”

    It adds that “given the feedback effects in the model, this may have significant impacts on outcomes. In light of this, the evidence presented by Nexus thus far to suggest that the proposed QC scheme would indeed lead to net welfare gains needs to be treated with caution.”

    Commissioned by Stagecoach, the Oxera report was delivered to Nexus yesterday in response to its proposals.

    Stagecoach North East Managing Director Phil Medlicott said: “This independent report exposes the multi-million-pound black hole in the Nexus plan. It is based on false assumptions, unproven claims, and unsupported numbers. The QCS plans just don’t stack up.

    “Elected members are being misled by officials at Nexus into taking a disastrous decision they will live to regret. Why destroy a bus system delivering high satisfaction for a flawed experiment with worse service to passengers? Make no mistake: these plans would be bad news for passengers, taxpayers and local communities across Tyne and Wear.”

    The Oxera report also found:
    • Nexus presented no evidence that the actions of bus operators were resulting in a decline in passenger numbers in the North-east
    • Other possible explanations of patronage reduction in the North East were not considered by Nexus, such as the relationship between increasing car ownership and falls in bus use, and the expansion of the Metro system.
    • Bus use in the North-east is increasing – up from 129.3m in 2005-06 to 140m in 2011-12 according to Nexus’s own draft bus strategy.
    • Bus operator costs have risen “considerably faster than inflation” over the eight year period from 2004-11.
    • Lower public sector support for buses in metropolitan areas compared to London. Total public support per passenger journey in London is 29.6p compared to 22.2p in metropolitan areas – a difference of a third.

    "Overall, therefore, the evidence put forward by Nexus as a background to the proposed QC does not appear to provide sufficient support for the proposition that any potential problems in the bus market in the Tyne and Wear area can be addressed by a QC,” Oxera said.

    “In particular, Nexus has not examined in sufficient depth the reasons behind the trends in the bus market in the north-east of England; nor has it set out how a franchising model might have addressed the problems that have occurred.”

    Nexus is pursuing the expensive and bureaucratic QCS plans despite independent research by Passenger Focus that the North-east has the highest bus passenger satisfaction in the country at 91%.

    Bus operators in Tyne and Wear have instead called for a partnership between the region’s transport authority and operators, to further improve the high standard of services in the area.

    Bowens Collapse

    The Bowen Travel Group - one of the largest independent coach operators - has suffered a financial collapse.
    Administrators arrived at its head office yesterday morning (Thursday).
    Since then the company's website has been taken down and its telephones are not being answered.
    The company - which also trades under the Yorks, Jeffs and Appleby brands - is reported to have run out of cash, and has a string of unpaid bills run up over the last couple of months. 

    Thursday, 25 October 2012

    Glasgow Riverside Transport Museum

    Glasgow have moved their transport Museum to a new riverside location and an opportunity was taken to make a visit whilst visiting the Bridgeton Bus Museum open day.
    A free shuttle service to the new museum was operated by a variety of vehicles.
    Our outbound journey was on WSK 509 Alexander bodied Leyland Tiger Cub PSUC1/2.

     Alexander bodied Tiger Cub arrives at Riverside and drops passengers.
     The free bus service to Bridgeton was advertised by means of a static exhibit Ex- SMT Leyland Leopard with Alexander AYS B-F body.from the Bridgeton collection and A board.

    Apologies that not all of the above pictures are of public transport, but they are included to give a view of the scope of the new museum.

    More pictures FocusFlickr Click Here 
    and on Richards Tram Blog Click Here

     Museum  website Here

    Wednesday, 24 October 2012

    Buses Will Stay in Oxford Street..

    London's public transport chief has dismissed calls to rid Oxford Street of its “wall of red double-deckers” saying it would require two “unacceptable and desecrating” bus stations to be built in the heart of the West End.
    The Mayor’s Transport Commissioner Peter Hendy was responding for the first time to growing demands from West End businesses to scale back the volume of buses in London’s premier shopping street.

    One proposal is for east-west bus routes to stop at either end of Oxford Street with a shuttle or tram running its one-and-a-half-mile length. But Mr Hendy said that while the option had been looked at it had been decided that “having the huge bus station you would need at Marble Arch would completely desecrate a very important place to people in Britain”.
    He added: “If you built a bus station at the Tottenham Court Road end it would take up a significant amount of space and would be prohibitively expensive. A Hammersmith bus station is the sort of size you would need and I don’t think that’s acceptable.”
    Mr Hendy was appearing before Westminster council’s West End Commission investigating the future of the district’s £50 billion economy.
    One member of the commission, concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith, said Oxford Street was plagued by “a never ending line of buses one after the other, half of which are completely empty even in the rush hour”. But Mr Hendy insisted that routes were set only in response to demand from passengers.
    He said: “We’re not proscribing answers but the reason there is so much transport in the West End is people want to go there. So it’s counter intuitive to say ‘we’re going to cut down on public transport’. It’s really not our job to say to people at Paddington ‘Sorry we’re not taking you to Tottenham Court Road’.”
    According to Transport for London about 220,000 people — equivalent to more than the population of Northampton — travel along Oxford Street by bus every day. The number of buses has already been cut from around 320 to 270 an hour after pressure from the New West End Company, which represents stores in the area. But Mr Hendy said this had not improved average traffic speeds. “It may be that buses are simply being replaced by taxis,” he said.
    The New West Company has said that eradicating “busgestion” on Europe’s busiest shopping route is its top priority. It argues that the arrival of Crossrail in 2017 will hugely reduce the need for above-ground public transport.
    The West End Commission was set up in January when Westminster council was forced to scrap proposals for new parking charges in the evening and at the weekend following a campaign by the Standard.

    Link from Tony Wilson

    Tuesday, 23 October 2012

    'Red' Arrow?

    Yesterday's offering on the Red Arrow. Any colour but red, but it certainly brightened up the very gloomy conditions in Chesterfield during the afternoon.
    Tony Wilson 

    Monday, 22 October 2012

    Coventry Event

    The event "Trains, Planes and Automobiles" took place in Coventry recently, based at the Air Museum and Electric Train Museum. This charity event was supported by The West Midlands N Gauge Club amongst others. Ken Jones took the following pictures of vehicles that were in attendance.

    A1 Tornado Going Blue

    60163 A1 Tornado is loosing her green livery in favour of the early BR dark blue with the early BR emblem on the tender.
    On Saturday 6th October tornado made her last main line run carrying the late British Railways dark green livery, operating 'The Cathedrals Express' from Southend to Canterbury.

    Click Here

    Sunday, 21 October 2012

    Arson Attack on Tribute Bus 'Spirit of London'

    A bus which replaced the double-decker destroyed in the 7 July suicide bombing has been set alight in a suspected arson attack in east London.
    The bus, named the Spirit of London, was set alight in the early hours of Friday near Walthamstow Central bus station, Transport for London said.
    Stagecoach said the attack was "an insult to the memory" of the 13 people killed in Tavistock Square in 2005.
     Two 14-year-old girls were charged with arson, the Metropolitan Police said.
    The bus was being used on the 69 route - a 24-hour service - between Walthamstow and Canning Town.
    There were no passengers on the bus at the time and no-one was injured in the incident, which took place on Selborne Walk.
    Mike Weston, operations director for London Buses, said the bus which runs on several routes "suffered suspected malicious fire damage to its upper deck at Walthamstow Bus station".
    A spokesman for operator Stagecoach said the "upper deck of the bus is largely burnt out".
    He said: "We can confirm the bus affected was the Spirit of London, a double-decker which replaced the vehicle destroyed in the 7 July bombing in 2005, which killed 13 passengers".
     The "mindless vandalism shows a complete disregard for the safety of other people and is an insult to the memory of those who lost their lives in those terrible events of seven years ago", he added.
    "We have assessed the condition of the bus and it can be repaired. We will be spending £50,000 to restore the Spirit of London bus to ensure it remains a fitting tribute."
    The bombing of a number 30 bus in Tavistock Square in central London came nearly an hour after the three bombs went off on Tube trains at Aldgate, Edgware Road and Russell Square in 2005.
    The suicide bomb attacks claimed the lives of 52 people.
    The bus was named as the Spirit of London by former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and brought into service in October 2005.

    1.    As Stagecoach fleet number 18500 when initially supplied back in 2005 as a memory to those who died in the awful London bombings. This is the livery it first wore for a few years. Image supplied by Brian Cheyney.
    2. Offside from Kevin Smith at Walthamstow (March 2012), where it was attacked, it has been renumbered to 19000.
    The bus along with ten others (19131-19140), are the only ones in London to the 10.8m length (H45/30D), all others being either 10.1 or 10.2m long (H41/24D). 
    3.Nearside from Colin Lloyd at Stratford (August 2012). By then it had received an allover red repaint as per the Transport for London requirements, and had been renumbered as 19000.

    Click Here & Here


    Saturday, 20 October 2012

    Go Ahead Aiming for Growth

    Go-Ahead is aiming to grow its bus operating profit to £100m by 2015/2016.
    The ambitious target will be revealed at a meeting for financial analysts, when the Newcastle-based business will also reveal it is continuing to trade strongly.
    Go-Ahead, which runs buses around the UK with a strong presence in London plus the Southern (which includes the Gatwick Express), Southeastern and London Midland rail franchises, is giving a trading update for July 1 to October 17.

    Go-Ahead chief executive, David Brown, said: “I am pleased to report strong growth across our regulated and deregulated bus businesses, demonstrating the effectiveness of the group's strategy of providing high quality, cost efficient and locally focused bus services.
    “We believe there is significant potential to grow this core part of our business and today have announced a target to organically grow bus operating profit* to £100m by 2015/2016.
    “We remain committed to operating in the UK rail market and are pleased to report strong underlying growth in passenger revenue across our three franchises.”
    And as expected, the company’s London bus interest benefited from Olympic traffic.
    "The London 2012 Games took place during the first quarter of our financial year and I am really proud of the key role Go-Ahead played in helping to deliver a highly successful transport network for the Olympics and Paralympics,” said Brown.
    "Whilst we are encouraged by our performance in the first quarter, we remain suitably cautious about the medium term wider economic outlook."

    More Click Here