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Go-Ahead buys East Thames Buses

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Transport for London is selling the capital’s only publicly owned bus operator, East Thames Buses, to the Go-Ahead group for £5million. ETB, which was formed following the collapse of Harris Bus in 1999, operates 113 buses and has 460 employees. The annual turnover of the business is around £24million. As part of the deal Go-Ahead has secured new five-year contracts on ETB’s nine routes.

TfL says the move will save it more than £30million over the next nine years, through the sale of assets and reduced operating costs. David Brown, TfL managing director for surface transport, explains: “The operation of ETB is not a part of TfL’s core business and this deal represents much better value for money for fare and taxpayers. We are confident that London General will deliver improvements in service for passengers on the nine routes currently operated by ETB, at a reduced cost. All employees working for ETB will be transferred to London General on the same contractual terms.”

Go-Ahead’s group chief executive, Keith Ludeman, says: “The acquisition of East Thames Buses provides us with an excellent opportunity to further develop Go-Ahead’s London bus business. This acquisition will enable us to leverage synergies from our existing bus operations and to enhance the quality of East Thames bus services to passengers.
“Go-Ahead’s bus operations in London, which includes Metrobus, will now grow further with a market share of 21.5 per cent, utilising over 1,800 vehicles and over 5,500 employees.”

TfL announced its decision to consider selling ETB in December 2008. The sale is expected to be concluded early next month.

www.tfl.gov.uk

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