Administrators from Duff & Phelps have sealed the sale of Accessible Transport Group, based in the West Midlands, to a subsidiary of National Express.
The group provides essential public transport services to disabled and vulnerable people, including daily home to school transport for 2,500 children and young people with special educational needs.
The sale of the group, led by Duff & Phelps administrators Matthew Ingram and Tyrone Courtman, to National Express secures the future of the service.
Accessible Transport went into administration earlier this year. It operates more than 600 vehicles, providing transport to 11,000 registered members of the public with disability or mobility restrictions.
As a charity, the group took advantage of special permits meaning that the vehicles and drivers were not subject to the operating licence restrictions that commercial transport companies must obtain. There was, therefore, no immediate option for a commercial operator to undertake the activities of the group in its entirety.
The joint administrators, advised by Russ Hill of Squire Patton Boggs, entered into discussions with Transport for West Midlands and Birmingham City Council in order to secure a comprehensive service agreement enabling the group to continue trading under the administrators’ control while long-term options were considered.
Ingram said: “I am delighted that we can finally assure all users of these fantastic services, of certainty for the future. Since the group entered administration earlier this year many people have come together and worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome, including my own team and our advisers, the group’s employees, representatives of the local authorities and the purchasers and their advisers. We are very grateful to them for that support and wish National Express and all those involved with this great organisation every success for the future.”