Hinkley Point bus contract award to Somerset Transport Solutions

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Crosville Motor Services invited First to form a joint venture once the full scope of the contract came to light. MIKE SHEATHER
Crosville Motor Services invited First to form a joint venture once the full scope of the contract came to light. MIKE SHEATHER

Joint venture of Crosville Motor Services and First Bus will require 160 new vehicles, 300 dedicated staff and could be worth over £70m

EDF Energy has confirmed that it has awarded a 10-year contract to provide bus services during the construction of the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station to Somerset Passenger Solutions, a 50/50 joint venture between First Bus and family-run Crosville Motor Services (part of the JJP Group).

Under the new contract, Somerset Passenger Solutions will operate high frequency services for employees to Hinkley Point C from dedicated Park & Ride sites, staff campus accommodation sites and from surrounding towns and villages for employees living across the area. The joint venture will also provide internal site shuttles and transport for visitors from airports, railway stations and hotels.

The deal is expected to be worth at least £70m over the next eight years, according to the Hinkley Supply Chain website.

EDF Energy estimates that around 25,000 job opportunities will be created during the construction of the new power station, and said around 5,600 people will be employed on site at peak.

Around 300 dedicated staff will be required by Somerset Passenger Solutions and the joint venture said a recruitment campaign will begin immediately. First Bus and Crosville between them will order up to 160 new, high spec buses as part of their contract.

Jonathan Jones-Pratt, Chairman of Crosville Motor Services, said: “This is great news for our company and this region of the UK, especially given the local training legacy that we will bring to the table.

“Our joint venture brings together unique skills and experiences. I’m delighted that our partnership and the good work we’ve been doing in providing bus services to the site under the current interim contract has been recognised.”

Alex Carter, Managing Director of First Bus in the South West, said: “I’m delighted that with our partners Crosville, we’re officially confirmed as bus service provider for the Hinkley Point C Project.

“This contract is great news for our business and the wider community, and will help to secure and create jobs. We look forward to providing EDF Energy’s employees with simple, seamless, frequent and reliable bus services during the construction period.”

Crosville first engaged with EDF Energy nearly six years ago and was awarded interim contract status in 2014. Crosville then invited First Bus to form a joint venture in June, 2014, in response to the release of scope of the main contract.