UK bus operator wins pounds 55m franchise
Wednesday 01 April 1998
A subsidiary of the FirstGroup joined forces with the lead bidder, the Hong Kong-owned New World group, to win the franchise in the face of stiff competition from five other consortia, including its UK rival Stagecoach.
It will take over a bus service run for the past 65 years by the China Motor Bus (CMB) company, which tried to hang on to its franchise by joining up with Stagecoach. CMB stood little chance of retaining the business because its operations, based on an elderly British-made bus fleet, are highly unpopular.
FirstGroup and New World have pledged to spend up to HK$2bn (pounds 155m) on new facilities, which will include the purchase of 500 new buses. British bus makers also stand to benefit from this business.
New World, a diversified conglomerate run by the politically well-connected Cheng family, has no experience of bus operations and will have to rely heavily on FirstGroup's expertise.Nicholas Ng, the transport secretary, laid emphasis on FirstGroup's experience in Britain as a reason for the joint venture's successful bid.
Bus operations have been highly lucrative in Hong Kong where all routes are monopolies although large buses face competition from mini-bus operators covering the same territory.
The new company will have to get the new service running by 1 September. It will begin operations with CMB's fleet before putting new vehicles on the roads.
The award is the first to a UK company since the end of British rule in Hong Kong and can be taken as a sign the new regime is not discriminating against the former colonial power.
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...