Back to the future for Aberdeen’s buses?
Aberdeen’s Labour group has started talks with First Aberdeen in a bid to set up a new municipal bus company.
The council’s controlling group, prompted by the news that FirstGroup is looking for buyers for its UK operations, is proposing a deal to acquire the fleet and King Street depot. Ironically, Aberdeen’s Grampian Regional Transport formed the nucleus of what became FirstGroup when it was bought by Moir Lockhead’s MBO in 1989.
Aberdeen Labour councillor and council transport spokeswoman, Sandra Macdonald, told the Aberdeen Press and Journal: “Following discussions with First Bus it has become clear that First Group are actively looking at the feasibility of dividing their business into saleable chunks.
“That means First Aberdeen could be sold to the council which would then run a municipal bus service. Aberdeen requires high quality, affordable and reliable public transport to stimulate economic growth and allow people across the city to prosper.”
One obstacle is legislative, and Sandra Macdonald said it is looking for support for an MSP amendment to the province’s own buses bill to allow councils to take full control of bus services.