MTL (Transport Company) - MTL London, MTL Manchester, MTL North - E

MTL (Transport Company) - E
MTL London
On 26 October 1994, MTL purchased London Northern from London Regional Transport. In April 1996, MTL purchased London Suburban. In August 1998 both were sold to Metroline.
MTL Manchester
The MTL Manchester operation started in the summer of 1993 somewhat controversially sparked a bus war with GM Buses, and to a lesser extent North Western's Bee Line operation and the Greater Manchester independents. MTL Manchester eventually operated in most districts of Greater Manchester and the operation was rumoured to be in preparation for a bid for one of the North/South GM Buses companies which had been owned by Greater Manchester PTE and had been ordered to be sold and split by the Government by 1994.
In turn GM Buses retaliated in the form of competition with MTL in Liverpool, Southport and the Wirral - using the Birkenhead & District branding in the town. Overall this competition was damaging to both MTL and GM Buses North/South who ultimately were making losses and an even more controversial 'gentlemen's agreement' between MTL, GM Buses North/South in June 1995.
MTL North
MTL North branding first appeared on Lancashire Travel, Merseybus, MTL Liverbus and MTL Village vehicles from the spring of 1998 and survived until MTL's acquisition by Arriva in February 2000.
MTL Coach Operations
MTL Heysham Travel
Heysham Travel was an independent coach operator that was operating commercial bus services in and around Heysham, Lancaster and Morecambe in North Lancashire. After privatisation, MTL was keen to expand and one such opportunity was council-owned Lancaster City Transport (LCT), which was facing stiff competition from Ribble Motor Services (later Stagecoach Lancashire). As a possible lead up to taking over LCT, Heysham Travel was one of MTL's first acquisitions.
However, worried about a possible takeover of LCT by MTL, Stagecoach Ribble registered duplicate services over the entire LCT network and by the early summer of 1993 had succeeded in driving LCT out of business and acquiring its asset base. Despite this, MTL retained the Heysham Travel operation, transferring in some Alexander R-Type bodied MCW Metrobuses, as well as Alexander and East Lancs bodied Leyland Atlanteans from Merseybus and secondhand Leyland National 2s, ironically purchased from Stagecoach Ribble to replace Heysham Travel's ageing coach fleet. Heysham Travel's Green, Yellow and White livery was also retained up until the late-1990s and this operation was retained by MTL.
Being located at least 40–50 miles away from MTL's core operations on Merseyside, the fleet was managed at an arms' length and had few opportunities for expansion. After the acquisition of MTL by Arriva in 2000 the Heysham Travel operation was sold to Stagecoach Cumberland (t/a Stagecoach Lancaster) in April of that year.
MTL Village
Village Group Tours was a long-established coach operator based in the Garston Village area of south Liverpool, from which the 'Village' name was derived. At first they were minor players in Merseyside's bus scene, only appearing on Merseytravel contacts with a handful of ageing double-deckers. However around 1992 Village entered Liverpool's 'bus war' on a large scale, beginning extensive Monday - Saturday daytime operations on two routes between Garston and Liverpool.
These south Liverpool routes were popular with students and were already a hotbed of competition between Merseybus, Liverline, North Western, Merseyline and CMT Buses. A new depot in Evans Road in Speke was used to house a fleet which by the end of 1997 had grown to around 60 vehicles, the majority of which were Leyland Titans that were proving popular with Merseybus/MTL and included some rare ex-Greater Manchester examples and B15 prototype NHG732P. Village was acquired by MTL in the spring of 1998 and despite Merseybus's Shaw Road depot in Speke being yards away from Village's, MTL kept the Village depot and ex-London Leyland Titans which fitted in well with their own large fleet of the type.
The operation was renamed MTL Village and used the MTL North fleetname from 1998 onwards. Furthermore, some ex-MerseyRider/Merseybus services were transferred to MTL Village. When MTL was acquired by Arriva the Evans Road garage was quickly vacated and many of the services rationalised when they revised the MTL service network in April 2000.
MTL (Transport Company) Overview
MTL Industry: Transport
MTL Founded: 1992
MTL Defunct: 2000
MTL Fate: Purchased by Arriva
MTL Successor: Arriva
MTL Headquarters: Merseyside
MTL Products: Rail transport, Bus transport, Coach travel
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