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Plymouth CityBus going to Go-Ahead

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Go-Ahead Group has been named as the preferred bidder for council-owned Plymouth CityBus. Completion is subject to final due diligence and full council approval, expected at the end of this month. Plymouth CityBus operates 184 buses and coaches and employs 485 people. Its services carry around 14 million people a year.

Keith Ludeman, chief executive of Go-Ahead, says: “We are very pleased to have been selected as the preferred bidder and are now working closely with Plymouth city council to complete the deal. Plymouth CityBus has an excellent reputation and fits well with our strategy of investing in high quality bus companies in urban areas which then maintain a strong local brand and high degree of autonomy to ensure close links to local customers and other stakeholders.”

The sale had been opposed by the Unite union, which had called for a referendum on the council’s proposal to dispose of the company. Unite’s deputy leader, Jack Dromey, described the sale plans as “pure dogma”.

Council leader Vivien Pengelly says: “I know many people are fundamentally opposed to a change in ownership but we owe it to people living in the city to look at the facts. We have to weigh up the pros and cons and make a decision based on what is right for Plymouth people and what makes good business sense.”

The sale of Plymouth CityBus will leave just 12 council-owned bus operations in Britain. It will expand Go-Ahead’s presence on the south coast where the group currently has operations employing around 850 vehicles in and around Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth and on the Isle of Wight, as well as inland with its Wilts & Dorset business.

www.go-ahead.com
www.plymouth.gov.uk

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