This post updates the article published earlier this morning.
If anyone was wondering why First Group UK Bus director Leon Daniels was driving a bus through London early on Wednesday morning with Sir Moir Lockhead as passenger, he was heading to the Olympic Park for a press photo shoot. They were in a brand new Volvo B7RLE for First Avon & Somerset.
The Olympic Development Authority has this morning ago announced that First Group’s been awarded preferred bidder status for the entire contract for spectator transport for the 2012 London Olympics.
This will involve over 800 buses & coaches both on short distance park & ride support—provided from First’s bus subsidiaries—and longer distance work, to be sourced via First’s Rail Support business, the bus subsidiary that digs trains out of engineering holes.
This is a particularly highly prized contract, one that First will relish and one others were keen to have. Given its profile, anything short of a 100 per cent delivery will be considered a failure, something First cannot possibly countenance. First comes with a sound record in dealing with such events: the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 will be a good parallel though, for the Olympics, the scale is exponential.
In detail, First is expected to provide:
- Around 500 buses and coaches for venue shuttle services and venue park and ride
- Around 90 buses and coaches for park and ride services, aimed to connect parking sites on the periphery of the M25 with the Olympic Park and Ebbsfleet
- Around 300 coaches (sub contracted from fleets up and down the country) to operate a network of express coach services to the Olympic Park and Weymouth and Portland
- Management of the Direct Coach operations
- A bus and coach services reservations and ticketing system
- Operational support staff at all bus and coach locations to manage the fleet.