Transdev to increase services as Pennine ends Burnley to Skipton run

Pennine Motors’ orange and black buses have been a familiar sight on roads for many decades

Pennine Motors’ orange and black buses have been a familiar sight on roads for many decades

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

EXTRA bus services have been pledged by an East Lancashire bus operator as a rival is to withdraw a well-known service through Burnley and Pendle.

Skipton-based Pennine Motors will no longer trade as a bus company from Friday, blaming increased competition and the reduction of county council free travel payments.

This will mean the loss of the 215 service, which runs between Burnley and Skipton through Nelson, Colne and West Craven.

But competitor Transdev, which runs the number 28 and 29 Mainline services along the same route, has already pledged to increase the number of buses it operates from next Monday.

Richard Jackson, Transdev’s development director, said “We are greatly saddened to hear of the possible demise of such an established company.

“Unfortunately it seems the cuts that are being imposed across all public transport operators have had a dramatic effect on Pennine Motor service.

“We are however pleased to be able to offer an improved service, which should minimise the impact on the local community and bus users”

The company has announced that up to four buses an hour will connect Burnley and Pendle with West Craven and Skipton. And many of the journeys will additionally call at Craven College, attended by a number of West Craven students, providing a half-hourly link to Skipton town centre.

A Pennine Motors spokesman said that the decision to close the 88-year-old company had been taken ‘with regret’. But the 20 per cent reduction in North Yorkshire County Council fees and rival buses had left the outfit ‘no longer financially viable’, he added.

Comments (5)

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1:03pm Tue 13 May 14

Noiticer says...

The demise of Pennine Motor Services is a sad story of a big, foreign owned multinational company squeezing out a locally owned minnow by running in competition on the same busy route in order to remove them. This is what happens in an unregulated public transport industry so that ultimately there is a private monopoly which can charge what it likes. North Yorkshire County Council don't come out of it with a positive image either as its attitude to public transport provision is dire. The residents of towns and villages in Lancashire who were once in Yorkshire can count their lucky stars that Lancashire County has a much more enlightened attitude to provision of rural bus services - at least at present but that might change as Government funding is squeezed further in the coming years.
The demise of Pennine Motor Services is a sad story of a big, foreign owned multinational company squeezing out a locally owned minnow by running in competition on the same busy route in order to remove them. This is what happens in an unregulated public transport industry so that ultimately there is a private monopoly which can charge what it likes. North Yorkshire County Council don't come out of it with a positive image either as its attitude to public transport provision is dire. The residents of towns and villages in Lancashire who were once in Yorkshire can count their lucky stars that Lancashire County has a much more enlightened attitude to provision of rural bus services - at least at present but that might change as Government funding is squeezed further in the coming years. Noiticer
  • Score: 1

1:57pm Tue 13 May 14

Kevin, Colne says...

Noticer’s observation that the demise of Pennine Motor Services is a sad story of a big, foreign owned multinational company squeezing out a locally owned minnow by running in competition on the same busy route in order to remove them has some validity.

Having said this, the performance of Pennine Motor Services could have been better. When one looked at the network and service offering one could not other than have a heavy heart.

For the last few years the writing has been on the wall for this company.

Last year I went to Skipton by bus and was shocked at seeing services in and around the town, which could and should have been in the hands of Pennine Motors, operated by others.

About two years ago I contacted the company directly asking if they would be interested in receiving some suggestions but the response was dilatory and unenthusiastic, so I decided to keep my counsel.

My suggestion would have been to brand their offering as ValueLine, maintaining the distinctive colour of the vehicles but in MainLine style, tidy-up the pre-paid passes into named items and then promote them heavily, look carefully at the frequency of the ValueLine to focus most buses where the bulk of the customers are, attempt a tie-up with local eateries in Skipton to offer special deals to Pennine travellers, leaflet door-to-door on houses on the route and pitch the overall proposition of the company on the basis of its existing key attributes speed and lower price – these are two factors that travellers value very, very highly.

This might not have worked but this is a business where you do not need to increase patronage by very much – where marginal revenue can exceed marginal cost significantly - to have a really marked and positive impact on the bottom-line. By the same token you do not need to lose much business to have significant losses, and this appears to be a key factor contributing to their demise.

It’s very, very sad as in truth the company had a very decent proposition and could have been nimble and out-manouvered lumbering giants.
Noticer’s observation that the demise of Pennine Motor Services is a sad story of a big, foreign owned multinational company squeezing out a locally owned minnow by running in competition on the same busy route in order to remove them has some validity. Having said this, the performance of Pennine Motor Services could have been better. When one looked at the network and service offering one could not other than have a heavy heart. For the last few years the writing has been on the wall for this company. Last year I went to Skipton by bus and was shocked at seeing services in and around the town, which could and should have been in the hands of Pennine Motors, operated by others. About two years ago I contacted the company directly asking if they would be interested in receiving some suggestions but the response was dilatory and unenthusiastic, so I decided to keep my counsel. My suggestion would have been to brand their offering as ValueLine, maintaining the distinctive colour of the vehicles but in MainLine style, tidy-up the pre-paid passes into named items and then promote them heavily, look carefully at the frequency of the ValueLine to focus most buses where the bulk of the customers are, attempt a tie-up with local eateries in Skipton to offer special deals to Pennine travellers, leaflet door-to-door on houses on the route and pitch the overall proposition of the company on the basis of its existing key attributes speed and lower price – these are two factors that travellers value very, very highly. This might not have worked but this is a business where you do not need to increase patronage by very much – where marginal revenue can exceed marginal cost significantly - to have a really marked and positive impact on the bottom-line. By the same token you do not need to lose much business to have significant losses, and this appears to be a key factor contributing to their demise. It’s very, very sad as in truth the company had a very decent proposition and could have been nimble and out-manouvered lumbering giants. Kevin, Colne
  • Score: 0

3:53pm Tue 13 May 14

Reality50 says...

Another reason to reopen the Colne to Skipton rail link methinks.
Another reason to reopen the Colne to Skipton rail link methinks. Reality50
  • Score: 1

5:57pm Tue 13 May 14

todwriter says...

Yes the demise of Pennine is sad but increasing the frequency of the already frequent Burnley service will do nothing for the residents of Carleton, Embsay, Gargrave and Settle who will be left with a skeleton minibus service running on Monday to Friday only and nothing at peak times.
Yes the demise of Pennine is sad but increasing the frequency of the already frequent Burnley service will do nothing for the residents of Carleton, Embsay, Gargrave and Settle who will be left with a skeleton minibus service running on Monday to Friday only and nothing at peak times. todwriter
  • Score: 2

8:56pm Tue 13 May 14

Copperhead says...

Everyone commenting on this is missing the point - it's nothing to do with Transdev being a big multinational " destroying small local bus operators " and everything to do with central government and local councils washing their hands of bus services because so many of them are unprofitable and subsidies are simply not available anymore.
As I have posted many times, the blame ultimately lies with one Margaret Hilda
" bag of sh*te " Thatcher, who instigated the privatisations that have destroyed our once great rail and bus networks. She wanted her paymasters in the City to profit from the asset-stripping of the UK, so anything and everything was put up for sale.
Having said that, in a small and over-crowded country like Britain - especially England - an integrated public transport network is a sensible and desirable situation. Good road and rail links with frequent services will keep car-useage to a minimum - at least that's the theory.
The reality is different.
Firstly. people who can, like to use a car as it offers door-to-door service that buses and trains cannot.
Secondly, and this is the heart of the matter, trains and buses need subsidies to keep unprofitable routes open so as the maintain the integrity of the national network. BUT ----- car drivers have to PAY the government money, rather than the government paying THEM money as they have to do with subsidised services.
So it's all about money really, and the ultimate reason for bus-company failures is political - the buses were sold off to save on subsidies, generate profits for asset-strippers and generate untold billions in revenue for the insatiable demands of the government from hard-pressed car-drivers, many of whom would prefer to use public transport but can't as it is either too inconvenient or doesn't exist in their area anymore.
Personally, I use a 125cc scooter for my commute. It does 100mpg, costs only £17 p.a. to tax and insurance is less than £100 p.a.
And where do I commute ? - to my job as a bus-driver !!!!
Everyone commenting on this is missing the point - it's nothing to do with Transdev being a big multinational " destroying small local bus operators " and everything to do with central government and local councils washing their hands of bus services because so many of them are unprofitable and subsidies are simply not available anymore. As I have posted many times, the blame ultimately lies with one Margaret Hilda " bag of sh*te " Thatcher, who instigated the privatisations that have destroyed our once great rail and bus networks. She wanted her paymasters in the City to profit from the asset-stripping of the UK, so anything and everything was put up for sale. Having said that, in a small and over-crowded country like Britain - especially England - an integrated public transport network is a sensible and desirable situation. Good road and rail links with frequent services will keep car-useage to a minimum - at least that's the theory. The reality is different. Firstly. people who can, like to use a car as it offers door-to-door service that buses and trains cannot. Secondly, and this is the heart of the matter, trains and buses need subsidies to keep unprofitable routes open so as the maintain the integrity of the national network. BUT ----- car drivers have to PAY the government money, rather than the government paying THEM money as they have to do with subsidised services. So it's all about money really, and the ultimate reason for bus-company failures is political - the buses were sold off to save on subsidies, generate profits for asset-strippers and generate untold billions in revenue for the insatiable demands of the government from hard-pressed car-drivers, many of whom would prefer to use public transport but can't as it is either too inconvenient or doesn't exist in their area anymore. Personally, I use a 125cc scooter for my commute. It does 100mpg, costs only £17 p.a. to tax and insurance is less than £100 p.a. And where do I commute ? - to my job as a bus-driver !!!! Copperhead
  • Score: -3

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