No changes planned at 50-vehicle Bucks company.

Go Ahead has announced that it expects to complete the acquisition of High Wycombe-based independent operator Carousel Buses early next month for an undisclosed sum.

Carousel was formed in 2000 and rapidly expanded on the back of local authority bus contracts and rail replacement work. It currently operates around 50 vehicles in the Wycombe area and runs services to Heathrow, Uxbridge, and Watford.

The current owners of Carousel, Steve Burns and John Robinson, will step back from day-to-day operation on acquisition, and will act as advisers to Go Ahead. Carousel will be run by the Oxford Bus Company team under the leadership of managing director Philip Kirk.

Commenting on the deal, David Brown, Go Ahead’s chief executive, said: “Carousel fits perfectly with our strategy of acquiring innovative, well-managed businesses which have a strong commercial core and can provide a solid basis for increasing passenger numbers.”

Brown added that the group’s purchase last year of Wallingford-based Thames Travel, which was a similar sized business, had seen the operator expand with tender wins and the conversion of several subsidised services into commercial services. “Thames Travel has retained its own identity and prospers under our devolved business model,” he said. “I am confident that we can repeat this success with Carousel.”

Go Ahead previously had a small standalone business based at High Wycombe trading under the Wycombe Bus Company name. However, that business was disposed of to Arriva in 2000.

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