Finglands deal approved

First Manchester Ltd has been given Office of Fair Trading (OFT) approval to acquire the Manchester bus business of Finglands Coachways Ltd, which is part of the East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS) Group. Finglands operates a number of commercial bus services and school contracts to the south and east of Manchester. First will take over the company’s existing bus services from 9 February. The acquisition includes the lease of the existing depot in Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, existing service registrations and the transfer of approximately 100 staff. The fleet of 41 vehicles is excluded from the sale although they will be used in the short term to meet current service commitments.

One of the first improvements from 9 February will be the extension of the First Day and Week ticket area to include the Finglands network in South Manchester. All existing Finglands tickets will still be available and details of other new developments will be provided in future announcements. The deal allows First Manchester to further strengthen and grow its bus operations in Greater Manchester and demonstrates its commitment to customers and stakeholders. It currently runs around 700 buses and employs 2,000 staff. In the past 12 months, it has lowered a number of its day, week and month fares in the Greater Manchester region by around 30% and has also made significant improvements in terms of its service delivery resulting in passenger volume growth of around 14% since the summer of last year.

Regional MD for First in the North of England, Dave Alexander, said, ‘This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to Greater Manchester and represents an excellent opportunity to further grow bus passenger volumes. We welcome new colleagues and customers and we look forward to working with them to further improve bus services in the communities of Greater Manchester.’


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