Bus operator First has announced a second selling off of its Greater Manchester operations by disposing if its Bolton operation
The intended sale would include the Bolton depot site, with 18 bus services transferring across to Rotala. The sale is expected to complete in the next few months and more than 500 employees who work for the Bolton bus operation will transfer to Rotala.
Earlier this year,it disposed of its Queen’s Road Manchester operation site in a deal worth £11m.
The news comes in the same week that Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham announced his intention to take bus services in the city back into public control.
First Manchester will continue to operate existing local bus services from the Bolton site until the sale is completed and customers should see no changes to their daily journeys throughout this period of transition. Going forward, First Manchester will focus its attention on the remaining bus services that primarily operate from the Oldham bus depot. Vantage services will also continue to be operated by First Manchester.
In a statement the Company said:
Following a review of its Manchester operations completed last year, First Bus took the decision to reduce exposure in Greater Manchester due to the current uncertainties in that particular market. Today’s news also follows the recent sale of First Manchester’s Queens Road depot.
Speaking about today’s announcement, Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus, said: “I’d like to thank our employees for their continued hard work to deliver the best experience possible for our customers in Greater Manchester. Today’s announcement does not reflect on the effort, commitment or individual performance of our Bolton employees and we will be supporting them fully as they transfer to their new employer.”