Blackburn with Darwen council shells out £300k on four new minibuses due to 'success of last year'

The total price for all 4 minibuses comes to £300,170 -Credit:Kypros 2017/Getty Images
The total price for all 4 minibuses comes to £300,170 -Credit:Kypros 2017/Getty Images

Blackburn with Darwen Council has bought four new minibuses for a total cost of £300,170. The vehicles supplied by GM Coachwork Ltd of Newton Abbott in Devon will take six months to deliver.

The authority has purchased on 12-seater minibus, one with 16 seats and two 10 seat wheelchair accessible minibuses A report to councillors by Strategic Director of Environment and Operations Martin Eden says: “Two Minibuses were purchased last year as part of the annual fleet replacement programme.

“Due to the success of last year’s minibus purchases, it was decided that the same approach would be taken for the purchase of the four minibuses this year, which was a further competition through the TPPL Bus and Coach Procurement Framework.

“All four minibuses were included in the vehicle replacement programme 2023 which was fully approved by the executive board last year. The total price for all 4 minibuses comes to £300,170.


"Another competition was conducted in late 2023, prior to this exercise, using ESPO’s Specialist Vehicles Framework, however, this exercise resulted in no bids being received. As a result of this, feedback was obtained from both ESPO and the suppliers on the framework.

“This process was necessary to understand the lack of interest in the opportunity but ultimately, delayed a second procurement exercise into March 2024. GM Coachwork Ltd have stated that the current lead-time for their vehicles is 24 weeks from receipt of order.

“However, this lead time is standard for the vehicle industry due to supply issues at the moment and 24 weeks was also the shortest lead time offered by any of the other three bidders.

“The cost of the vehicles will be met from approved capital budget.”