The Mayor and Mayoress of Cheshire East were guests of honour on23 October as Uttoxeter-based D&G Bus formally opened its new 500,000, 40-bus depot in Crewe.
The opening comes almost 10 years to the day since D&G began operations in Cheshire.
Owned outright, it follows a 600,000 investment in new vehicles during 2013 and is home to around 90 employees. The depot also accommodates the demand-responsive transport operation run on behalf of Cheshire East Council with 11 wheelchair-accessible minibuses.
D&G’s leased former depot, in Lockitt Street, had become the subject of a compulsory purchase order for redevelopment, says MD David Reeves, although a desire to own premises outright was also a factor in the move.
â€œWe bought the land for our new depot in mid-2013. It’s taken longer for us to get in than I would have hoped, but now we are up and running and we’re very proud of what we have.â€
Besides staff accommodation, the new depot has two maintenance buildings with room to accommodate four buses undercover. Rolling road and headlight aiming equipment have been installed and two sets of vehicle lifts are present.
Shortly to join the fleet at Crewe for a recently-gained seven-year tender is a high-specification Optare Solo, and Mr Reeves adds that he will soon begin negotiations for four new buses for D&G’s sister company, Greater Manchester-based South Lancs Transport.
Tomorrow (30 October) also sees D&G commence operation of The Orange One, a four-bus service in North Staffordshire. This will run from its recently-established operating centre in Uttoxeter and increases the PVR there to seven. â€œUttoxeter is growing from an outstation into a small depot,â€ says Mr Reeves.
At Uttoxeter, he adds, D&G will continue to â€œtake opportunities as they come along. We will do what we can to capitalise on any which may present themselves.â€