First Manchester to sell Queens Road depot to the Go-Ahead Group
First Bus has today announced its intention to sell the Queens Road bus depot and operations to the Go-Ahead Group for a consideration of £11.2m.
The intended sale would include the First Manchester depot site at Queens Road and the bus fleet of around 160 vehicles. The sale is expected to complete in the next few months and employees who work for the Queens Road bus operation will transfer to the Go-Ahead Group. First Manchester will continue to operate existing local bus services from the Queens Road site until the sale is completed and customers should see no changes to their daily journeys throughout this period of transition.
Today’s news will see First Manchester continue to operate from two sites, Oldham and Bolton. These depots and the services that operate from them are unaffected by today’s announcement.
First Manchester continues to advocate the benefits of a partnership approach in Greater Manchester to deliver faster improvements for customers. This follows the recent launch of the OneBus partnership, which proposes improvements including; 450 new low emission buses, simplified tickets, a unified brand identity, improved integration with other transport services, joint bus network reviews and improved customer information.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus, said: “I’d like to thank our employees for their continued hard work to deliver the best experience possible for our customers in Greater Manchester. Today’s announcement does not reflect on the effort, commitment or individual performance of our Queens Road employees and we will be supporting them fully as they transfer to their new employer. Over the years we have enjoyed a constructive relationship with both the Go-Ahead Group and Transport for Greater Manchester and look forward to working closely with them to ensure this transfer goes ahead as smoothly as possible with minimal impact for our customers.
“We continue to support the OneBus partnership in the city region and believe that a positive partnership between the Mayor; Local Authorities; businesses; the community and OneBus, can help tackle the increasing impact of congestion and deliver a package of improvements which puts customers first and offers good value for both passengers and public investment.”