Friday, 7 January 2011

Take Over Times

No one can accuse Premiere of letting the grass grow under its feet. Seemingly within days of its decision to pull off Red 4 Nottingham to Long Eaton (owing to competition and alleged incidents & blocking), comes news that from 7th February it will begin Red 5, also to Long Eaton, but direct.

But this isn’t the biggest news out of Nottingham.

On the 31st December 2010, Premiere purchased the assets consisting of around 40 vehicles along with the transfer of contracts and some staff from another Nottingham-based business. It will be business as usual for both companies during January, and the assets, remaining work and some staff merged into Premiere on 1st February.

Speculation is rife as to the operation Premiere has purchased.

Also in Nottingham, the trade press has already mentioned that Veolia’s Nottingham National Express work will pass to Yourbus. Yourbus is, of course, none other than Dunn Motor Traction and the express services were once the responsibility of the very same operator that sold to Veolia in the first instance, Dunn Line.

But there’s more.

Trent Barton runs alongside what will be Red 5. Only a few years ago, Trent Barton’s was scaled back to peak time only. Not enough demand. So, could Premiere have bitten off more than it can chew? Perhaps. But since from towards the end of February Wellglade’s Midland General is about to extend its own Bargain Bus 4 to Long Eaton as a limited stop service by omitting Stapleford, perhaps there is potential for a semi-fast market. Mind you, in the process, Bargainbus 4 is reduced from thrice to twice an hour. It remains unclear whether fares remain at £1.

And more.

The original Bargainbus 99p service from Nottingham to Cotgrave will increase from two buses an hour at 20 and 40 minute intervals, to a clockface 20-minute service. Renumbered Bargainbus 2, this will give Cotgrave nine buses an hour under three operators, two of whih are part of Wellglade. In the short term at least, passengers win. Though Bargain Bus fares were initially announced as 99p, they materialised at 50p but recently doubled to £1. That still represents remarkable value. But is it sustainable?

Not only that.

Premiere’s original X1, now Red 1, the route apparently laid on following complaints of full Trent Barton buses, seems to consider itself a victim of its own success. Premiere has announced that it will be offering “loads more seats” this year to improve matters. Presumably, this will mean the end of its older Dennis Darts.

i Try the Derby Bus Depot
Photo credit: Alf Cundy

5 comments:

jo said...

I'm a little confused. Is red5 going to be a duplicate of "Long Eaton exprss" or indigo (new name for the rainbow 5) as the xprss is peak only every 15 mins & cuts out Chilwell, Beeston indigo is 6/7 mins all day, 15 mins evenings, 10 mins sundays with all the stops & very busy. Premiere would do well using the name red5 along the indigo route as people have known of the "5" route for years & years historically.
But what's happening with NCT? yourbus running along the same route & to date no response! They increased some routes in frequencies recently but left the 36 alone. Things look like they certainly will be interesting around this part of town soon, what with the tram extension, Bartons indigo, NCT's 36, yourbus Y36, premiere's red 5 & bargainbus 5 next? Lol

Anonymous said...

The operator being taken over by Premiere is believed to be the Veolia *bus* operations in the area - NatExp coaches to Yourbus.

Anonymous said...

Rumours from Wales,
Veolia Transport Cymru is also up for sale, and veolia are looking for a quick one. From the grapevine.

Anonymous said...

Would it not complicate the issue of the Veolia / Transdev merger if the UK operations are being hived off? Or is the merger conditional on the dumping of the UK operations?

Anonymous said...

Red5 looks to be a sort of LEX, but LEX is truly express in the Beeston area and City. Red5 has said it calls all stops, so by missing the Chilwell loop and Beeston Bus Station it could claim to be 'fast', but I suspect doesn't want to miss the high volume University traffic, so in the City it becomes 'slow'. If anything the main competition here is with NCT 13/14 with the world fighting for students at the Uni (who are sufficiently confused as it is with Trentbarton buses in all colours plus NCT and made more interesting if Premiere really has the Uni contract via Veolia). I'm less clear on what Bargain Bus is doing.