21 May 2008

Stagecoach buy Rapsons

The whispers had been around for a while and flatly denied by Stagecoach spokespeople, so it was only a matter of time before the confirmation of the sale of Rapsons bus and coach business to the UK's third largest bus operator, Stagecoach, was announced on 19 May 2008.

The Rapsons Coaches business additionally comprises Highland Country Buses Ltd and Orkney Coaches Ltd. Bus and coach services are operated throughout the Highlands of Scotland with bus depots at Inverness, Aviemore, Fort William, Portree, Thurso, Wick and Orkney, plus a number of outstations. Services are also operated on the Isle of Skye. Contracts exist to operate services for Scottish Citylink and National Express.

The business has an annual turnover of £12.5 million and employs 400 to operate and maintain around 200 vehicles.

The Stagecoach brand will be applied to the Rapsons businesses.

A few years ago both Editors visited the Highlands and rode on the most northerly bus service on the UK mainland - a Highland Country Buses service between John o' Groats and Thurso - ironically deployed on the day we travelled was an ex Eastern Counties Bristol VR VAH 280X seen below in June 2005.