NORTH transport giants Go-Ahead and Arriva are pulling more passengers on to their buses and trains despite the continuing economic gloom.
Both Newcastle-based Go-Ahead and Sunderland’s Arriva published updates on their performance today, which said the two companies were trading in line with their own expectations.
But the issue of high fuel costs for the public transport sector has not gone away. Arriva said the rising prices would cost it an extra £60m this year but it has already bought three-quarters of the fuel it expects to use in 2010, reducing costs by around £30m.
Go-Ahead said its cost-cutting measures would help it save around £4m of extra fuel costs this year and it has also snapped up the majority of fuel it expects to use in 2010.
Go-Ahead, which is also holding its annual general meeting today, said the income from its buses was slightly better than it had expected in the three months to October.
The company recently announced the £10m takeover of bus services in East Thames and Horsham and said it would continue to look for new acquisitions.
Its Southern and Southeastern rail franchises both performed according to plan and it has brought in a new management team at its London Midland franchise to make improvements.
And the airport car parking and baggage handling wing of the business did slightly better than the company expected after cost-cutting measures were put in place.
Meanwhile, Arriva’s revenue on its buses was up by 4.9% and there was also good growth in the income from its rail services.
Passenger revenue growth was 1.3% up on the CrossCountry rail franchise during the 42 weeks to October 24 and jumped by 3.8% in the last six weeks. The figure was even higher at Arriva Trains Wales at 6.7%.
The company, which runs buses and trains in 12 European countries, reported a 7.6% rise in revenues from the Continent. It is planning to seek out more acquisitions in Europe to take advantage of the high number of transport services passing out of public sector control.