Go-Ahead Gives Eastbourne Sightseeing a ‘Bus’tling Future

Eastbourne City Sightseeing Bus
photo - Eastbourne City Sightseeing Bus

In a strategic move to broaden its footprint in the scenic tours market, The Go-Ahead Group has officially acquired Eastbourne Sightseeing, a prominent operator known for its picturesque bus tours through Eastbourne, Beachy Head, Birling Gap, and the encompassing areas. This acquisition marks a significant expansion for Go-Ahead, integrating the sightseeing operation into its Brighton & Hove Buses division, thereby enhancing its presence in East Sussex.

Eastbourne Sightseeing, with a fleet of nine open-top vehicles, has been instrumental in offering seasonal tours that traverse Eastbourne’s seafront, navigate through its quaint streets, and venture into the breathtaking landscapes of the South Downs National Park. The business, currently stationed at a depot in Ringmer near Lewes, is poised for growth under its new ownership.

The synergy between Eastbourne Sightseeing’s routes and Go-Ahead’s existing services, particularly the connection at Eastbourne station served by Southern Rail (a segment of Go-Ahead’s GTR rail network), presents an integrated travel solution for customers. This connectivity is expected to facilitate seamless travel experiences from London to Eastbourne and further into the South Downs, all under the Go-Ahead umbrella.

Brighton & Hove Buses has committed to maintaining the Eastbourne Sightseeing brand, aiming to leverage its website and marketing prowess to fuel future demand. Moreover, Go-Ahead plans to foster partnership marketing initiatives between Eastbourne Sightseeing and Southern Rail, potentially unlocking new avenues for customer engagement.

With Go-Ahead already managing 15 open-top bus tours across the UK, including urban, seaside, and rural routes, this acquisition further solidifies its position in a market estimated to generate £150 million in annual revenue industry-wide.

Ed Wills, Managing Director at Brighton & Hove Buses, expressed enthusiasm about the acquisition, stating, “Eastbourne Sightseeing is a thriving operator offering terrific tours in one of the most scenic parts of the south coast. We intend to build on its success, invest in the business and look at opportunities for expansion.”

This acquisition follows Go-Ahead’s recent purchases of Dartline in Devon, Southdown in West Sussex, and Pulham & Sons in the Cotswolds, underscoring the group’s ambitious expansion strategy in the regional bus industry.

Matt Carney, CEO of The Go-Ahead Group’s bus division, shared his vision for the future, “Go-Ahead is an ambitious company with an eye for expansion in the regional bus industry. We aim to invest in communities across the UK and to grow the popularity of bus travel. I’m delighted to welcome Eastbourne Sightseeing into the Go-Ahead Group.”

Echoing this sentiment, David Mulpeter, Managing Director of Seven Sisters Bus & Coach and previous owner of Eastbourne Sightseeing, commented on the transition, “I’m delighted to see the Eastbourne Sightseeing service join Brighton & Hove Buses and the wider Go-Ahead family. We’re incredibly proud of the success of this open top route over the last few years and I have every confidence that the team at Brighton & Hove will continue building and developing the service for the future.”

error: Content is protected by Sussex News