Stagecoach Merseyside

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Stagecoach in Merseyside
Enviro400MMC Kirkby.jpg
An Alexander Dennis Enviro 400, operating on Route 20 to Kirkby in 2015.
Slogan Greener, Smarter, Travel
Parent Stagecoach Group plc
Founded Glenvale Transport Ltd (2001)
Stagecoach in Merseyside (2005)
Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire (2011)
Headquarters Stagecoach Merseyside & South Lancashire, Gillmoss Depot, East Lancashire Road, Liverpool, L11 0BB
Service area Merseyside, Lancashire, Cheshire, North Wales, Wirral
Service type Local bus services
Routes See Services operated
Destinations Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, West Lancashire
Fleet Approximately 200
Operator Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire
Chief executive

Brian Souter (CEO Stagecoach Group)

Les Warneford (MD Stagecoach UK Bus)
Website http://www.stagecoachbus.com/merseyside

Stagecoach Merseyside is a major operator of bus services in the British city of Liverpool and in the surrounding area of Merseyside. It is a subsidiary of the Stagecoach Group. It was formed in July 2005 due to the acquisition of Glenvale Transport Limited (GTL), which in turn had initially been formed by ex-MTL managers bidding for company, following a Competition Commission ruling that Arriva must sell their newly acquired Gillmoss depot to preserve the competition within the Merseyside area.

The fleet of the newly created Glenvale Transport Limited mostly comprised elderly Leyland Titans and aging Dennis Darts, although efforts were made to update the fleet via an agreement with Essex-based dealer Ensignbus, seeing newer buses arrive regularly from the end of 2003 right up to the Stagecoach takeover in the summer of 2005. Several much newer buses, although in need of repair, were permanently stationed at the depot, likely due to financial struggles making it difficult to repair the buses.[1] Glenvale had an annual turnover of approximately £25 million.[2]

The company was sold to Stagecoach Group in 2005, who pledged to invest in new buses for Merseyside. The result since takeover has been a £6.5m fleet of 75 new low-floor Alexander Dennis Dart buses that have entered service with the company,[2] with the sale and disposal of older buses previously in operation with Glenvale.

Also, in late January 2013 Stagecoach purchased First's bus operations in Wirral and these now operate as part of Stagecoach Merseyside.[3]

History[edit]

Glenvale Transport Limited/(GTL)[edit]

Main article: Glenvale Transport

Stagecoach Merseyside[edit]

On numerous occasions Stagecoach made bids for some or all of the companies making up the former MTL Trust Holdings Ltd. In June 1998 MTL sold off MTL London but Stagecoach were outbid by the then independent Metroline. When MTL went bankrupt in January 2000 Stagecoach were very interested in acquiring the company but was again outbid this time by Arriva. It wasn't known at the time but Stagecoach did bid for the Gillmoss depot after Arriva was ordered to dispose of it. But again it was an unsuccessful bidder losing out to Glenvale Transport Ltd (GTL).

Apart from a Stagecoach Ribble/North West service between Southport and Preston, Lancashire and a Sunday only Lancashire County Council contract from Liverpool to Preston/Blackpool it seemed unlikely that Stagecoach would ever have significant operations on Merseyside. When rumours of a sale at GTL surfaced around 2005 it was FirstGroup with its nearby operations First Chester & The Wirral and First Greater Manchester - which at the time had a school bus division in nearby Kirkby, the Go-Ahead Group plc and Transdev who at the time were bidding for Merseytravel's cancelled Merseytram scheme who seemed like the front runners to buy GTL. However, on Wednesday 13 July 2005, GTL accepted a reported £3.4M cash[4] offer for the company from the Stagecoach Group who in turn agreed to absorb GTL's debt of approximately £7m. The management of Stagecoach Merseyside as GTL had become - although Glenvale Transport Ltd is still the company's legal lettering, was passed over from Dominic Brady and Ian Campbell to Stagecoach UK Bus MD Les Warneford.

Depot[edit]

Fleet[edit]

An Alexander Dennis Enviro300 in Queen Square Bus Station, Liverpool.

As of August 2015 the fleet consisted of 148 buses.[5]

Last Leyland Titan Day[edit]

In 1992 Merseybus in an effort to modernise its fleet entered into an agreement with London Buses to purchase a significant quantity of their Leyland Titans dating from 1978 to 1984. These proved popular with other operators on Merseyside and overall approximately 400 Titans saw service in the region and by the time of the takeover of GTL by Stagecoach there were still quite healthy numbers in service.

However Stagecoach quickly made the replacement of the aging fleet on Merseyside (see above) a top priority and by the beginning of 2006 only a handful remained in service. Most Merseyside bus enthusiasts took to the Titan well with some of these vehicles spending more time on Merseyside than they did in London and Stagecoach Merseyside therefore decided to hold a Last Titan Day on Saturday 4 February 2006.

The last serviceable examples at Gillmoss took enthusiasts on a tour of Liverpool and the Wirral and were joined by T1, the first production Titan which was owned by Stagecoach London, a Stagecoach North West Titan and a preserved Titan which had previously been owned by Merseyline of Garston.

The event also featured other vehicles including Stagecoach Chesterfield's ex-Grimsby-Cleethorpes open-top Daimler Fleetline, a Stagecoach Manchester Scania N113, which had been new to London Buses, an ex-Merseyside Transport Leyland Atlantean, once based at Gillmoss, an ex-Greater Manchester Transport Atlantean formerly based at Wigan and a regular visitor to Merseyside and an Arriva London, AEC Routemaster.

Liverpool FC Stagecoach Champions of Champions Buses[edit]

Stagecoach Merseyside 34815/PX06DVZ and Stagecoach Lancashire 16335/VLT255 at Gillmoss depot

On Wednesday 20 June 2007, Stagecoach Merseyside and Stagecoach North West, in partnership with World Football Exhibitions Ltd and Liverpool Football Club, launched two branded Liverpool FC Champions of Champions buses to celebrate Liverpool FC's remarkable history in European Competition.

Stagecoach Merseyside 34815/PX06DVZ at Gillmoss depot

The buses were launched at Anfield by Tom Wileman, Stagecoach Regional Director, and Liverpool FC legends Phil Neal, Alan Kennedy, David Fairclough, Ian Callaghan, Chris Lawler and David Johnson. Also at the ribbon cutting ceremony was the actual UEFA Champions League trophy which Liverpool FC won for a record fifth time in Istanbul in 2005.

Speaking at the ribbon cutting, Liverpool legend David Fairclough said: "Both buses look brilliant, it's a great tribute to our European history". Tom Wileman of Stagecoach added, "Liverpool's achievements in European football have been fantastic, not only for the city but for the whole region and we wanted to recognise and celebrate that".

The new buses feature images and facts from Liverpool FC's 5 successful European Cup victories of 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005. The double decker is operated by Stagecoach North West and will operate on the X2 route between Liverpool, Southport and Preston while the single decker is operated by Stagecoach Merseyside and will operate across the city of Liverpool and other parts of Merseyside.

A similarly branded bus for Everton FC was also introduced into service at the end of September 2007[6] and these buses were in service through to 2008 when the city of Liverpool celebrated being European Capital of Culture.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merseyside Dennis Dart - Archive 26". Merseyside Dennis Dart. Archived from the original on 21 October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Stagecoach invests in new buses for Merseyside Stagecoach Group, 10 August 2005
  3. ^ http://www.stagecoachbus.com/chester-wirral.aspx
  4. ^ "Merseyside Dennis Dart - Archive 19". Merseyside Dennis Dart. Archived from the original on 20 October 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Stagecoach Merseyside". Merseyside Dennis Dart Website. Retrieved 18 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Davies, Craig (25 September 2007). "The Blue Bus". Everton F.C. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 

External links[edit]