Tuesday 11 June 2019

FirstGroup Sale

The Manchester operations of FirstGroup were recently sold off to GoAhead, who have now taken over operation of the former routes. 

Go North West have launched their new livery

David Cutts, Interim Managing Director of Go North West, said: “We very much look forward to joining Manchester’s public transport community. We are excited to welcome our passengers and offer them a reliable bus service that meets their needs.

Queens Road Depot will house a new senior management team and new, in-house customer service team,
 employing local people with local knowledge to deliver a better service.

"Go North West is committed to providing a high-quality bus service and we will make further announcements over the coming weeks.

"Finally, I’d like to thank the Go North West team who have managed the acquisition and transition process and the staff at Queens Road who we have greeted us with open arms and who we look forward to welcoming on-board.”

Since the sale of the Manchester operations FirstGroup has announced plans to sell off its remaining bus operations in the UK and Greyhound buses in America

The news of the sale comes after the company said it lost £327m in the year to 31 March 2018, compared with a profit of £152.6m in 2017, leading last year, to the departure of chief executive Tim O'Toole. This year the group's annual loss in a little short of £100m.

The Aberdeen-based company operates a fifth of all local bus services outside London as well the South Western Railway and TransPennine Express rail franchises.

It is reported to be under pressure from investors to reorganise and make changes at board level, and is set to concentrate on the North America market. 
A First Group spokesperson commented: ‘Today we announced that we will be pursuing strategic options, through a sale or other means, to separate First Bus from FirstGroup. 

Please be assured that as this process unfolds, we will continue to operate our services as usual, working closely with our local authority partners and demonstrating our commitment to our customers through the service we offer them. In recent years we have improved customer service at First Bus by investing in our buses and new technology, transforming our networks, and making operations and maintenance more efficient. 

As a result, First Bus is now on a much stronger footing, and we believe it is the right time to pursue structural alternatives so the business can continue to provide excellent service, ensure the best possible future for our staff and continue to meet stakeholders’ requirements.'