Monday 27 January 2014

First forays into Fallowfield following Finglands' finale

First's takeover of Finglands in South Manchester has been cleared by the Office of Fair Trading and will be finalised on 9th February, reports the Manchester Evening News. This sees commercial competition on the Oxford Road/Wilmslow Road corridor, often reputed to be the busiest bus route in Europe, whittled down to just Stagecoach (including in their Magic Bus guise) and First. When I used those routes regularly in 2001/2, I remember having a choice of at least 4 companies. The rule of thumb that has been proven here is that it is nigh on impossible for small independent operators (or small groups, such as EYMS, who currently own Finglands) to compete commercially against the big groups. Their future appears consigned to niche markets such as council contract work that is too inconvenient for the big boys. JPT are left as the last independent serving Central Manchester, but for how much longer?

The Omnibuses blog is back up and running. It was one of the inspirations for the Bugle, so it's great to see it back. Hopefully it will soon resume the in-depth analysis for which we here just don't have the time nor the resources. You can see dynamic links to Omnibuses and many other interesting bus blogs in the panel on the right. Do contact us if you know of one we don't already link to.

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