First to sell Bolton depot to Rotala

First Bus has announced its intention to sell its Bolton bus depot and operations to Rotala Plc.

The intended sale would include the Bolton depot site, with 18 bus services transferring across to Rotala. The sale is expected to complete in the next few months and more than 500 employees who work for the Bolton bus operation will transfer to Rotala.

First Manchester will continue to operate existing local bus services from the Bolton site until the sale is completed and customers should see no changes to their daily journeys throughout this period of transition. Going forward, First Manchester will focus its attention on the remaining bus services that primarily operate from the Oldham bus depot. Vantage bus rapid transit (BRT) services will also continue to be operated by First Manchester.

Following a review of its Manchester operations completed last year, First Bus took the decision to reduce exposure in Greater Manchester due to the current uncertainties in that particular market. Today’s news also follows the recent sale of First Manchester’s Queens Road depot to Go-Ahead.

Giles Fearnley, MD of First Bus, said: “I’d like to thank our employees for their continued hard work to deliver the best experience possible for our customers in Greater Manchester. Today’s announcement does not reflect on the effort, commitment or individual performance of our Bolton employees and we will be supporting them fully as they transfer to their new employer.”


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