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Johnsons announces sale of its South Warwickshire bus operation

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HENLEY-based Johnsons Coach & Bus Travel has announced that it is selling its bus operation.

The Excelbus part of the business, which includes the X20 Stratford–Solihull service, the 150 Redditch–Birmingham services and Stratford’s Park and Ride services, are being bought by Rotala PLC’s subsidiary, Diamond Bus Limited.

Johnsons is selling its bus operation. (56365470)
Johnsons is selling its bus operation. (56365470)

The deal includes 18 buses and other assets and is expected to be concluded on 29th May.

Drivers and some operating staff from Excelbus will join the Diamond Bus West Midlands operation, working from its Redditch depot.

Johnsons will continue to operate its holidays, excursions and private hire business, running 45 coaches and employing 180 staff.

Peter Johnson, operations director at Johnsons, said: “As we look forward and consider the challenges of meeting the needs of air quality and environmental issues, through electric, and then hydrogen powered vehicles, we have decided that we must now focus on building our coach business in terms of holidays, day trips, private coach hire and school services.”

John Johnson, commercial director, added: “We are proud to continue to offer the high-quality coach services Johnsons is known for. As an industry leader and multi-award winner we are committed to growing our coach business for the long term, and we look forward to continuing to provide a great quality and friendly service for our customers.”

Rotala, which was formed in 2005, is based in the West Midlands but also operates in the North-West of England and Middlesex.

Simon Dunn, Rotala chief executive, said the deal forms part of the firm’s strategy to “consolidate smaller businesses via bolt-on acquisitions in existing areas of operation”.

The vehicles included in the deal will be rebranded.

The announcement brings to an end Johnsons involvement in local bus services, after nearly 23 years of operation.

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