Author Topic: First to close Clacton depot  (Read 347 times)

Offline Spoddendale

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First to close Clacton depot
« on: May 03, 2018, 08:27:19 PM »
RouteOne magazine dated 30 April 2018 carries the following report:


First to exit Clacton and close depot with 60 jobs to go

First Essex is to close its Clacton depot and stop all five of its town services. Up to 60 of the 65 jobs are at risk. The routes operate 24 vehicles with a peak vehicle requirement (PVR) of 21.

Its seven days a week Clacton-Colchester and Clacton-Walton-on-the-Naze routes will continue.
First says its Clacton operation “has not been viable for several years.”

It faces competition from Go-Ahead owned Hedingham, which has a network of five Clacton town routes, and a route to Colchester.

Hedingham says it is planning to replace First’s routes.

First says that “despite working hard to turn the business around, there has been insufficient passenger demand” and the “challenging economy” has also been a factor.
First Essex MD Steve Wickers says: “The level of demand is not enough to warrant a stand-alone bus operation in Clacton.
“We see no alternative. Despite our best efforts, patronage has declined gradually over the last couple of years.
The threatened services are routes 2 (Clacton-Mistley), 3 (Harwich-Clacton), 4/4A (Clacton-Jaywick), 5/5A (Clacton-Flatford Drive) and 6 (Clacton-Point Clear via Bockings Elm and St Osyth).

Mr Wickers added: “Our proposals do not, in any way, reflect on the commitment of our colleagues in Clacton who have worked tirelessly to provide the best possible service to the local community.  I’d like to thank each, and every one, for their hard work and loyalty. We will be doing everything we can to assist everyone affected and will actively support any of our employees who may wish to transfer to other First Bus operations.”


The actual report includes maps of both the First and Hedingham Clacton services and may be seen via this link:

« Last Edit: May 03, 2018, 08:29:40 PM by Spoddendale »
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Offline essexdragon

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Re: First to close Clacton depot
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2018, 09:09:57 PM »
Yeah, I'm loving the First business plan*: invest in Clacton (where passengers are declining) before you hand it over to the competition so they reap the benefit, whilst your retained services go to rack and ruin so the (increasing numbers of) passengers get fed up and desert in droves! They have a great (sic) future. No wonder Apollo walked away. Mind you, from the bunch that boast they spent 5 years, or longer, trying to make a pig fly, apparently; does anything come as a surprise?

Wasn't "On the Buses" filmed at their depots? They wouldn't need a script.

PS *or is it a suicide mission? The competition and everyone else wait patiently to find out (or rather perhaps not so patiently in the case of Hedingham and the passengers!).

It's not hard to see the Go-Ahead strategy. They have First in a vice, Hedingham from the east and Chambers (who've recently beefed up services) from the west. How hard can they turn the screw? Or is it threadbare? Do Go-Ahead locally  now have the fleet to bid successfully for the CC contracts held by First around Colchester, as in Clacton? I think an incremental strategy was how the successful Go-Ahead operations in the southern counties built up their business. They may have lost Anglian, but losing the battle doesn't necessarily mean losing the war. A truce with Arriva would be a realistic possibility. Are First in the game though? Wickers sounds more like Mark Antony's "I come to bury Caesar [FEx] not to [resurrect] him [it]". Comparing the initiatives at First's western operations (Bristol/Cornwall/Bath/Worcs), even the formerly troubled Dorset, let alone Norfolk/Suffolk, and First Essex do look as though they've lost the plot. Though it could be, if they ever had it to start with.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 09:52:04 PM by essexdragon »