Blundred's minis to sail into docklands
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• Minibus baron Harry Blundred is moving into London's docklands with a 100-strong vehicle fleet, 200 new jobs and a five-minute frequency hailand-ride weekday service.
Transit Holdings, the company Blundred uses to run Devon General, Oxford Minibus and the Oxford Tube, has ap plied to the Metropolitan Traffic Commissioner for an 0licence to set up yet another new subsidiary — Docklands Transit — which will trade as Docklands Minibus.
Blundred says that the new operation will be funded privately, without any form of operating subsidy, and that it will not tie into any existing London Regional Transport services in the East End. LRT has not objected to the proposals so far and Blundred sees the new service as complementary to the area's LRT bus networks and light railway.
"This is not a bus war," he says, adding that he expects Docklands Minibus to be viable by the end of its first year. The new company plans to set up an operating base in Silvertown, close to the new Docklands City Airport.
Five of the seven routes Blundred has applied to register will provide new links to and from the Isle of Dogs: the sixth will go to the Tobacco Docks retail centre and the other will go south to the Surrey Quays shopping centre, stopping in Greenwich and Lewisham.
All 100 minibuses will be Mellor-bodied Ford Transits. "Nothing ever goes wrong with them," said Blundred at the company's launch.