Bee Line quzz spreads wings
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• The Stagecoach Group has sold its bus operations in Central and South Manchester to the Drawlane Group and this week sees the creation of a new Drawlane subsidiary headed by Julian Peddle, managing director of Stevensons.
Ribble has already taken over Drawlane's North Western interests in Blackburn as part of the deal, which releases further parts of Ribble to Drawlane together with East Midland's interest in the NorthWest.
The Stockport-based Bee Line Buzz Company with 180 minibuses, the Manchester de pot of Ribble with 60 vehicles and the Glossop depot of East Midland will be grouped together as the new Bee Line Buzz Company and administered from Stockport. A new operator's licence is being sought, and the company will operate in the interim under North Western's operator licence, which was recently increased by 230 vehicles.
Ribble's presence in Manchester will be confined to a few routes in the North which will be operated from the Bolton garage. East Midland has not sold any buses, but the vehicles will gradually be phased out when Bee Line reallocates its resources.
Drawlane maintains additional interests in the Manchester area through its North Western and Crosville subsidiaries. NW has depots at Altrincham and Wigan; Crosville maintains an outstation at Bradbury and a depot at Rochdale. No immediate plans for integrating these depots into the Bee Line setup have been announced.