East Staffs merger starts privatisation
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STAFFORDSHIRE independent bus operator Stevensons of .Uttoxeter and the municipal bus undertaking operated by East .Staffordshire District Council are to be merged from August 1.
The merger — effectively the first privatisation of a municipal bus fleet — was ratified by the district council after being recommended by its transport committee_ It will involve the council in buying up to 50 per cent of Stevensons' shares. Two council nominated members are to join the Stevensons board although control will remain with the private shareholders.
Stevensons director and general manager Julian Peddle expects that only 18 of the 38 Burton-on-Trent-based East Staffs buses will be required in the merged operation as it plans a significant reduction in its revenue support requirement.
He told CM that it is likely that the new operation would retain the 18 Daimler Fleetlines in the fleet and dispose of 15 newer Dennis Dominators. A final decision depends on his investigations of the Dominators' performance.
The remaining five East Staffs buses are Leyland Atlanteans and Bristols.
The assets of both operations arc being assessed and discussions concerning the future of the present East Staffs depot and its management are to take place.