Bridgestone extends London public transport deal
Bridgestone has announced an extension of its existing deal with City of London bus fleet Metroline. The tyre supplier will maintain 500 extra vehicles for the company, one of the city’s biggest public transport providers. The buses operate predominantly in the north west of London, from five different locations. Bridgestone describes the extension of its existing two-year deal, which already involves a ‘full maintenance package’ with 1,200 buses, as “a huge coup for the business”.
Metroline’s head of purchasing Derrick Halsey described the development of the deal with Bridgestone as refreshing. “There was a level of maturity and intensity about the conversations we had with Bridgestone,” he said. “Their ethos was based around building a lasting partnership that transcended any talk of profit, which was refreshing to hear.
“The word passion is an overused one, but Bridgestone’s dedication to the life of each and every tyre they maintain has already rubbed off on our own technicians.”
Halsey continued to explain the influence of Bridgestone’s products and tyre management programme on Metroline’s decision: “A number of marginal gains, such as vehicle correctly aligned steering/geometry, all add up in fuel savings and the overall life of the tyre itself. These make a huge difference in the long-term and are added services that offer a level of transparency.
“London is probably the harshest environment in Europe for bus tyres. The vast majority of roads are not built for the motorcar, let alone the bus, with high kerbs and awkward areas to navigate. Our buses can operate for 22 hours each day, so we require a holistic tyre maintenance offering for each bus. Bridgestone provide this.”
Bridgestone’s fleet operations manager Matt Millington said: “We are very appreciative to Metroline for the faith they have shown in us. This announcement represents a big breakthrough for us in the London area and we couldn’t be happier to be strengthening our relationship with the company. We do feel we have the capacity to grow with Metroline too, and can adapt to meet their needs as and when they require us to.
“Our operations team has played a huge part in this announcement and must be congratulated for the efforts they have made over a long period of time.”
Metroline’s chief engineer Richard Shillingford concluded: “In the short time we have worked with the team at Bridgestone it is apparent how professional and dedicated they are. They have a very switched on management team at both local and regional levels. Regular service review meetings and direct contact means they are alive to our operational needs and can react quickly when required.
“I was extremely impressed by the way they absorbed our original fleet into their business with minimal disruption. Equally commendable is the manner in which they supported us in the adoption of the 5 new depots at very short notice.”