Drivers in farewell to bus depot
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.