Drawlane snaps up CMS NAO raps
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• Crosville Motor Services, one of the country's largest bus companies, has been sold by ATL to the Drawlane Group. Buying the 450-vehicle Cheshire-based operator makes Drawlane the largest private group in the bus industry.
Drawlane already owns four former National Bus Company subsidiaries (Shamrock & Rambler of Bournemouth, Midland Red North of Cannock, London Country South West of Reigate and North Western of Bootle) and East Lancashire Coachbuilders of Blackburn. The latest deal gives it turnover of over £70 million, a staff of 4,000 and a combined fleet of more than 1,600 vehicles.
The sale leaves AIL with only the SUT group of corn panies in Sheffield — and three operating centres at Sheffield, Leeds and Dinnington were censured for poor vehicle maintenance by the North East Traffic Commissioner at the end of last year.
Crosville was one of the last operators to be privatised by the National Bus Company. It was sold last March to Tony Lavin's ATL Group and set up as a new holding company, ATL (Western). Since then it has been reorganised and is said to be trading at a profit.
Several Cheshire and Wirral depots of ATC's have been run down or closed, but the company has expanded its services in the Greater Manchester area. Late last year it took over Yenoway routes, running from a Rochdale depot, following ATL's sudden decision to wind up its north-western subsidiary.
The new chairman of Grosvile is Richard Stanley. He is currently a director of the Friends Provident Life Office, GT Venture Investments and GA Developments.