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Stagecoach set to buy Preston Bus

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STAGECOACH is poised to purchase Preston Bus, the former municipal operator which was privatised in an employee buy-out in 1993. The company employs 300 people and operates 120 vehicles. Its position has been under threat since Stagecoach stepped up competition on key Preston Bus routes in the summer of 2007.

The competition, described last year by Preston Bus managing director Peter Bell as a ‘bus war’, saw the involvement of traffic commissioner Beverley Bell in getting the two operators to agree a code of conduct to avoid conflict on the city’s streets. This was put in to effect last summer.

A Stagecoach spokesman says: “We can confirm that Stagecoach has reached provisional agreement to purchase Preston Bus. The deal is subject to the approval of employee shareholders and the completion of a final legal contract.

“Discussions may or may not lead to a completed deal and we will issue any further update as appropriate.”


Preston Bus’ Bell describes the deal as “the best way forward” for the company. If the deal goes ahead Stagecoach will have a near monopoly of the city’s bus services. There would also likely be some rationalisation of competing services.

www.prestonbus.co.uk
www.stagecoachgroup.com

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