... What's the Betting?
Go-ahead : Seemingly will buy anything at the moment. [fbb] Go-ahead has certainly been in expansionist mood recently; but purchases have usually been independent companies. The exception to that policy is, of course, the ex-First London depot.
Arriva : Fits into a hole between Milton Keynes and Leicester. Has experience of running in Northampton, which may discourage them. [fbb] Arriva ran a tendered route from Milton Keynes to Northampton but their recent acquisition history is again with independents (Wardle, Midland).
Uno : Would not be surprised to see them start something competing with First before the sale. Could reduce the frequency on 4/4A as they already have 5 buses an hour going to Kingsthorpe; or they might rationalise the whole batch of routes to the north of the town. [fbb] Uno has an operating licence for 30 vehicles, far, far more than are needed for the University job.
Centrebus : I suspect they will wait to pick up any tendered work if First does not find a buyer. [fbb] Cenrebus is very widespread; from Luton to Huddersfield; the company (companies) must be difficult to manage but Northampton is close enough to other operations to make it a possibility.
Unknown new mystery entrant : What's Julian Peddle doing these days?
Meridian : He can't afford it. Are there that many preservationists willing to sell him their buses to make up his elderly fleet? [fbb] Meridian runs in competition with First on the Kings Heath route in Northampton. If the company had the money, rationalisation would be the sensible option. But ...
East Midlands Vehicle Preservation Group : Might muster enough buses for a tendered Sunday route. Most buses not buggy or wheelchair friendly and passengers might be confused by variety of liveries. Possible revenue from enthusiasts. [fbb] A lovely but wholly impracticable idea. Sadly instant bankruptcy would beckon.
Not very encouraging for any bus passenger living north or south of Northampton town centre.
fbb is putting a fiver on the 25 to 1 option but tempted with 100 to 1. [In theory only; fbb does not bet!]
Watch this space!
Fat Bus Bloke's Bible Blog looks at Jeans (?) (read here)