Accessible Transport Group (ATG) went into administration on Friday 22nd March, which casts an uncertain future for its Ring And Ride and igo bus services, as well as other ATG contract services.
The largest accessible transport provider in the UK, which employs 700 staff and operates more than 600 vehicles from nine depots across the West Midlands, has called in administrators.Source: TheBusinessDesk West Midlands.
Matthew Ingram and Tyrone Courtman, both of Duff & Phelps, have been appointed joint administrators of Accessible Transport Group Limited, Ring and Ride West Midlands Limited and ATG Contract Services Limited.
The charities provide accessible transport services for people in the West Midlands who experience mobility impairment or social isolation in urban and rural environments.
Accessible Transport Group is the group holding company and holds all property assets, and provided head office functions.
Ring and Ride West Midlands provided its services in the seven metropolitan districts in the West Midlands: Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The third operation – ATG Contract Services – provides a home to school service on behalf of Birmingham City Council and also operated subsidised bus routes under the IGo Brand in partnership with Transport for West Midlands.
Ingram said: “The majority of the services that the charities provide are vital to those that rely on them for transport on journeys they would not otherwise be able to make. We understand the uncertainty and concern that the appointment of administrators will have on all of the service users, in addition to the employees, suppliers and supporters of the Charities.
“We are in contact with Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands and the West Midlands Combined Authority and are working with them to try and ensure that there is no interruption to the day to day operations of the charities whilst we seek to secure the long term provision of the essential services that they provide.
“We will of course be communicating either directly or in collaboration with the local authorities to all of those who are affected by our appointment to ensure that they understand its ramifications and minimise the uncertainty as far as we are able.”
While it looks like administrators are looking to keep the business and its services operational for now, Network West Midlands have already informed that the following igo bus services will be taken over by other operators from Monday 25th March, presumably as ’emergency tenders’.
- Service 57 – Wolverhampton – Bilston via Wednesfield – To be operated by Diamond Bus
- Service 80 – Moxley to Bilston via Lower Bradley – To be operated by Diamond Bus
- Service 326 – Bloxwich to Bilston via Willenhall – To be operated by Diamond Bus
- Service 530 – Wolverhampton – Rocket Pool – To be operated by Banga Bus
- Service 69 – Solihull – Brandwood Park – To be operated by Johnsons
Network West Midlands reports that all other igo bus services are scheduled to operate ‘as normal’.
While I don’t use Ring And Ride services myself, I know that they are an essential lifeline for the elderly, disabled and infirm, so I hope that a way can be found to rescue these services, as well as the other ‘home-to-school’ service contracts.
EDIT: I feel the need to add that for the benefit of anyone otherwise concerned, all Ring And Ride and other ATG contracted services are continuing to operate as normal.