Northgate buys traffic management vehicle supplier Blakedale

Northgate Vehicle Hire has acquired family-owned business Blakedale, supplier of specialist traffic management and support vehicles, for an undisclosed sum.

Blakedale, based in Chorley, Lancashire, has built itself into the UK’s largest privately owned traffic management company over the past 30 years.

Its specialist fleet of 334 traffic management vehicles range from 3.5-18 tonnes and is supplied to highways contractors on both short and long-term rental and contract hire.

The fleet currently works across a range of motorway and urban environments and is also available for self-drive hire.

The acquisition enables Northgate Vehicle Hire to grow its share of the traffic management sector at a time when the Government has pledged strategic long-term investment in UK roads until 2050.

Martin Ward, CEO of Redde Northgate, Northgate’s parent company, said: “We are extremely excited that Blakedale will become part of our wider group.

“It’s a great business with both rental and specialist vehicle build capability that will provide a wider range of essential services to our blue-chip clients.

“It’s a perfect fit with our Northgate Vehicle Hire business which already operates in the traffic management sector.”

In 2020, Blakedale relocated to its current impressive 20,000 square foot premises in Matrix Park, Chorley where its experienced team design, build, repair and maintain vehicles for highways contractors.

These include 18-tonne Impact Protection Vehicles, welfare vans and bespoke traffic management vehicles of all shapes and sizes.

Blakedale shares Northgate’s customer-centric approach and enjoys long-term working relationships of over 15 years with its major customers.

The strength of the brand in the market, said Northgate, will allow it to operate with Blakedale as a separate division retaining its premises and people.

Current joint-MD and family shareholder Carmen Bowley, who has worked in the business since 1999 and with the wider management team has led the company’s growth over the past 20 years, will remain on board to ensure a smooth transition process during the coming months.

Northgate has appointed Jon Taylor as joint-MD to initially work alongside Carmen. Together they will leverage the specialist skills and resources of both businesses to deliver enhanced customer propositions, it said.

Taylor has been with Northgate for more than 20 years working in senior operational roles.

Bowley said: “We are very proud of what Blakedale has achieved over the past 30 years. It is a modern business with excellent facilities that is at the forefront of a fast-moving industry.

“We are pleased to become part of the Redde Northgate family to support the long-term growth of the business.”

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