Driv­ers in farewell to bus de­pot

Rossendale Free Press - - Front Page -

VAL­LEY bus driv­ers have waved good­bye to Hasling­den bus de­pot fol­low­ing its clo­sure.

Driv­ers and other staff at the de­pot, at Knowsley Park Way, marked the end of an era on Saturday, April 7 when they sent out the last bus ser­vice from the site, which opened in 2008, be­fore many of them raised a glass to mark the clo­sure in nearby pubs.

Ear­lier this year, Rosso Bus was taken over by the Trans­dev Blaze­field group of com­pa­nies, op­er­at­ing ser­vices across Lan­cashire.

Alex Hornby, CEO of Trans­dev Blaze­field, ex­plained: “As part of the sale of Rosso to Trans­dev in Jan­uary, Rossendale Bor­ough Coun­cil re­tained the Hasling­den de­pot in sup­port of its com­mer­cial in­vest­ment strat­egy.

“We worked closely with all of our driv­ers and sup­port staff based at Hasling­den, who we’ve now wel­comed to their new places of work at our nearby de­pots in Lan­cashire.

“We have re­tained ser­vice cov­er­age as a re­sult of the move, and the huge in­vest­ment and re­newal pro­gramme in our fleet has al­ready be­gun in earnest.”

Bus and trans­port en­thu­si­ast Bill Ewing, 77, has a pas­sion­ate in­ter­est in lo­cal pub­lic trans­port.

He said Rossendale had lost the pres­tige of be­ing one of a few mu­nic­i­pal trans­port un­der­tak­ings left in the coun­try.

He said: “On Saturday the lads and lasses at the Hasling­den de­pot left for the last time.

“This is of course the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin of ●● The bus de­pot on Knowl­sey Park Way, Hasling­den (above and above right) has now closed. Buses for the Val­ley will now be housed in Rochdale, Burn­ley and Black­burn Rawten­stall Cor­po­ra­tion, Rossendale Trans­port and lastly of course Rosso which I was just man­ag­ing to come to terms with.

“I pre­sume there will now be a con­sid­er­able amount of ‘dead mileage’ bring­ing buses from the out­ly­ing lo­ca­tions to op­er­ate the Rawten­stall and other routes.”

As part of the Rosso deal, Trans­dev said they were in­vest­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in Rosso, in­clud­ing spend­ing in the re­gion of £3 mil­lion in the year fol­low­ing the deal on ‘state-of-the-art’ new buses. The lo­cal Rosso brand, which op­er­ates routes around Rossendale, Rams­bot­tom, Bury and Rochdale has also been re­tained.

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