And you have to feel sorry for Giles Fearnley, head honcho of First Bus. He is appointed to "sort out" an ailing company, chunks of which are "not performing up to expectations". Now that's management-speak for "losing eye-watering amounts of dosh". So, being the consummate manager that he is, Fearnley starts pruning the sick plant.
A chunk of his London operations goes ahead to GoAhead; Lothian doesn't want another bit of Lothian and next on the list for the big snip is "Barnstaple". It goes a bit like this:-
First want to sell "Barnstaple"
"create a monopoly" so
Stageocoach announces it won't play anymore and withdraws its offer to buy
A range of alternative options including the potential sale and transfer of employees and assets to Stagecoach Group plc were fully explored. That option will no longer go ahead following the Office of Fair Trading's announcement on 10 July that it was referring the case to the Competition Commission.
First announces compete closure of "Barnstaple"
First Devon and Cornwall today (23 July 2012) announced plans to discontinue its bus services in the North Devon area, including closure of the Barnstaple depot.
Stagecoach announces expansion of its "Barnstaple" network
creating a "monopoly"!
And it didn't cost uncle Brian a penny extra!
Now that is smart??? Yet it isn't at all smart for the First Bus bus drivers who will lose their jobs and it's certainly not at all smart for Fearnley who won't get the money from Stagecoach and will have to pay out substantial amounts in redundancy.
Who would be a manager, eh?
And, to cap it all, the same gang of "grey suits" who didn't want Uncle Brian to have a monopoly in North Devon so gave him one "on a plate", happily approved McGill's "monopoly" take-over of Arriva in the south west of Glasgow.
Who would be a manager, eh? And now First are "under attack" all over the place as we shall see tomorrow.
P.S. Where was this bus photographed?