Kimes of Folkingham set to close?

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The future looks bleak for Kimes’ route 9 Oakham – Peterborough
The future looks bleak for Kimes’ route 9 Oakham – Peterborough

Respected Lincolnshire bus operator Kimes of Folkingham could close later this summer – but it is by no means certain at this stage.

CBW understands the firm’s owner, Centrebus Ltd, has entered a 90-day consultation period with regards to jobs and services as the current operation is not viable.

According to the latest Notices & Proceedings, most of Kimes’ routes have been deregistered from August 11 with new registrations in the name of Centrebus from the same date. The only services not showing up are 9 Peterborough to Oakham, 12 Stamford to Uppingham and 58/59 Boston to Kirton/Spalding. It is understood Centrebus management has been in discussions with other operators to see whether they will take over any services, mainly the 58/59.

Drivers and engineering staff are being offered transfer to either Grantham, Saxby or Corby though some staff will be made redundant, including office staff.

Centrebus Commercial Director Dave Shelley told CBW: “We have started a full consultation with staff at our Kimes business. There are options for the future, one being closure, but the consultation will drive the decision making process. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time, as we want to ensure the internal consultation is a full and frank one.”

Previously owned by its employees, Kimes was acquired by Centrebus in July 2011. Founded in 1945 by the Kimes family, the firm ran 23 vehicles at the time of the Centrebus takeover. The current 20-strong Folkingham-based fleet includes six former Dublin Buses Leyland Olympians, eight low floor double-deckers and half-a-dozen low floor single-deckers.