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Transdev Blazefield is a bus group, serving Lancashire, North & West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. Formed in 1991, it has been a subsidiary of Transdev since January 2006.[1]

History

Blazefield Travel was formed in 1991, following the sale of Alan Stephenson's AJS Group, along with seven bus operations, 300 vehicles, and 12 depots to former directors, Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde, in a management buyout.[2][3]&

Transdev Blazefield is a bus group, serving Lancashire, North & West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester. Formed in 1991, it has been a subsidiary of Transdev since January 2006.[1]

History

Blazefield Travel was formed in 1991, following the sale of Alan Stephenson's AJS Group, along with seven bus operations, 300 vehicle

Blazefield Travel was formed in 1991, following the sale of Alan Stephenson's AJS Group, along with seven bus operations, 300 vehicles, and 12 depots to former directors, Giles Fearnley and Stuart Wilde, in a management buyout.[2][3][4]

Initially, there were seven operating subsidiaries: Keighley & District, Harrogate & District, Yorkshire Coastliner, Harrogate Independent Travel, Sovereign Bus & Coach, Welwyn Hatfield Line and Sovereign Harrow.[2]

AJS Group had purchased West Yorkshire Road Car and London Country North East from the National Bus Company in 1988.[2] Prior to the sale, the latter was broken in two, Country Bus & Coach and Sovereign Bus & Coach, with only the latter becoming part of Blazefield Travel.

West Yorkshire Road Car operations were divided into six depots: Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate, Keighley, Malton and York.

Leeds and Bradford depots passed to the Rider Group (then owners of Yorkshire Rider) in August 1989. The remaining four depots became Harrogate & District, Keighley & District, York City & District and Yorkshire Coastliner. The York operation was later tak

Initially, there were seven operating subsidiaries: Keighley & District, Harrogate & District, Yorkshire Coastliner, Harrogate Independent Travel, Sovereign Bus & Coach, Welwyn Hatfield Line and Sovereign Harrow.[2]

AJS Group had purchased West Yorkshire Road Car and London Country North East from the National Bus Company in 1988.[2] Prior to the sale, the latter was broken in two, Country Bus & Coach and Sovereign Bus & Coach, with only the latter becoming part of Blazefield Travel.

West Yorkshire Road Car operations were divided into six depots: Bradford, Leeds, Harrogate, Keighley, Malton and York.

Leeds and Bradford depots passed to the Rider Group (then owners of Yorkshire Rider) in August 1989. The remaining four depots became Harrogate & District, Keighley & District, York City & District and Yorkshire Coastliner. The York operation was later taken over by the Rider Group in July 1990.[5]

Expansion soon followed, with the purchase of Cambridge Coach Services in November 1991, along with 14 vehicles, and Watford-based Lucketts. Ingfield of Settle was purchased in April 1992, and was merged with Keighley-based Northern Rose to form Ingfield-Northern Rose.

Harrogate Independent Travel was set up as an independent in 1986, following the deregulation of bus services, by a number of West Yorkshire's Harrogate drivers to challenge their employer. This company was purchased in 1993, and absorbed into Harrogate & District.

In 1994, Blazefield purchased Borehamwood Travel Services, along with 43 vehicles (22 of which were AEC Routemasters). The company was renamed London Sovereign. By this time, the Blazefield group owned around 380 vehicles.

In 1994, Ingfield-Northern Rose bought Whaites Coaches of Settle. At the same time, Sovereign was locked in battle with Universitybus. Blazefield was also supposedly behind Petlen Travel, trading as Noddy Bus, using old Sovereign buses.

In 1996, Harrogate & District grew again, following the acquisition of Cowie Group's United operation in Ripon. In 1998, Huntingdon & District was created with the operations of Premier Buses, owned by Julian Peddle, but was sold to Cavalier of Sutton Bridge in 2004. Cambridge Coach Services was sold to National Express-owned Airlinks in 1999.

In April 2001, four garages, along with 230 vehicles were purchased from Stagecoach in Lancashire.[6] Two new subsidiaries were formed, Burnley & Pendle with depots in Burnley and Pendle, and Lancashire United with depots in Blackburn, Bolton and Clitheroe. The depot at Bolton was subsequently sold on to Blue Bus of Horwich.

Between 2002 and 2005, Blazefield withdrew from its operations in the south of England.[7] London Sovereign was sold to Transdev in 2002, with Huntingdon & District sold to Cavalier Travel in 2003, and operations in St. Albans sold to Centrebus in 2004.[7] In early 2005, the Competition Commission cleared Blazefield's deal to sell what was left of Sovereign to Arriva Shires & Essex.[8]

In January 2006, the Blazefield Group was sold to Transdev, along with 305 vehicles.[9][10] In 2007, Transdev Blazefield purchased Accrington Transport, Blackburn Transport and Northern Blue.[11]

In 2008, Transdev Blazefield purchased Top Line Travel,[12][13] and Veolia's York operation, both based at the Fulford depot.

In December 2017, Rosso was purchased from Rossendale Borough Council.[14][15]

As of March 2020, Transdev Blazefield has six operating subsidiaries:[16]