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Yellow Buses to 'cease trading' after going into administration

ADMINISTRATORS have been called in to Yellow Buses which serves passengers across Christchurch and the western side of the New Forest.

The company, which has 300 staff and recently celebrated its 120th birthday, is about to cease trading this week, according to rival firm MoreBus which has picked up some of its routes on an "emergency timetable".

Administrators said its finances had been badly hit by a mix of the pandemic driving down customers and the recent increase in fuel prices.

Yellow Buses has gone into administration
Yellow Buses has gone into administration

Efforts by the directors to find investment or a buyer in time had failed, administrators said, but negotiations were continuing with a "large national operator" which were hoped to conclude within days.

Yesterday (Wednesday), having already gone into administration, Yellow Buses was operating some routes at Saturday levels, with a few being cancelled entirely including the Buster's New Forest Explorer and the 727 which passes through Christchurch.

In term time, the company also operates school runs including Highcliffe and Twynham, but no announcement has yet been made about those.

MoreBus stepped in and announced last night that from Saturday it will pick up a series of routes in what it said was a bid to "keep people moving" with some reductions.

MoreBus has picked up some routes on an emergency basis
MoreBus has picked up some routes on an emergency basis

Services it is taking on include the 1/1b from Bournemouth to Christchurch; the 1a Bournemouth to Somerford; and the 2 from Bournemouth to Castlepoint.

The 4, also from Bournemouth to Castlepoint, will also carry on but will not continue to Christchurch.

Simon Rowe and Rachel Hotham, of Milsted Langdon LLP, have been appointed administrators of Bournemouth Transport Ltd, which trades as Yellow Buses.

They said in a statement: "We recognise that many people rely on the Yellow Bus network for all sorts of aspects of their daily lives and that for them and the 300 staff employed by the business this is an unsettling time.

"We can recognise this and want to reassure everyone that we and our team are doing all we can to ensure that the business continues to operate as normal as possible under the circumstances and continues to do so into the future. "

Yellow Buses in jubilee colours
Yellow Buses in jubilee colours

They explained: "However, like many transport businesses, Yellow Buses has suffered from the challenges of the Covid period and the changes in lifestyle habits which have followed, with more people working remotely and some people still being reluctant to travel on public transport.

"All of this has severely reduced passenger numbers on all routes.

"This loss of revenue has had a financial impact on the business and additional factors such as the recent increase in fuel prices and the general rise in inflation has only made that greater."

They urged the public to continue using the company, saying: "Support Yellow Buses and crucially its staff by using the bus. Take a trip on one of the buses and let the drivers know they have your support. Show them just how important this service is to everyone."

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