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Report - Arriva Bus Garage - Skelmersdale - September -2011 -


He Never Even Got There
28DL Full Member
a newspaper article from april 2011 from http://www.champnews.com/html/newsstory.asp?id=9241

Bus firm Arriva has been accused of putting profit before customers by a Skelmersdale councillor after it announced plans to close its depot in the town.

The bus operator is proposing to close its Neverstitch Road depot in the town where vehicles and staff for many of the company's West Lancashire services are currently based.

A company statement said the decision was being made to cut costs and added that it was partly due to the loss of tendered work in the town.

It is understood that around 100 people work at the depot and staff have been consulted.

The firm insists the move will not affect bus services in the town, but Skelmersdale councillor Neil Furey, accused the public transport provider of being more interested in shareholders and profits than its customers or ongoing plans to regenerate the town.

The borough councillor for Skelmersdale North said: “Skelmersdale has no railway station and is completely dependant on a strong bus network.

"Important bus services may be cut or become unreliable if services are being managed from Liverpool or Southport.

"I don’t accept that loss of tendered work in the Skelmersdale area has contributed to this proposal. Tendered work is always up for grabs and can be lost one year and regained the next.

"As for rising costs, Arriva has usually managed these by increasing passenger fares and increases in council subsidies.

"Skelmersdale is set to see major investment in its town centre, together with the new college that opens later this year.

"Unfortunately, Arriva appear more concerned with shareholders and profits than bus users in Skelmersdale."

Arriva issued a statement saying it was in consultation with its staff over a possible closure of the Neverstitch Road depot.

An Arriva spokesperson said: "In order to protect bus services in the area, Arriva North West is working hard to minimise the impact of rising costs by carefully looking at how the business can operate in the most efficient way.

"Following a review of overheads and the loss of some tendered work in the Skelmersdale area, the company has completed a network review.

"As a result Arriva has entered into consultation with staff about the possible closure of its Skelmersdale depot.

"Cost savings generated from transferring these services to other depots is the best way identified to ensure services remain commercially viable, protecting services for the local community and the employment of the majority of people providing them.

"The company does not expect any significant changes to services or timetables in the Skelmersdale area, and hopes to re-deploy as many employees as possible.“
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has alspoken of her shock saying:

"This has come as a great shock as I am sure it has to the staff and passengers of Arriva.

"I have already been in contact with the bus company management and will work with Arriva to ensure wherever possible to keep the jobs and services for West Lancashire residents.

"We cannot afford to lose any vital bus services here in West Lancashire."

and a more recent one from

MORE than 120 jobs are in jeopardy in Skelmersdale after bus company Arriva confirmed it was closing the Stamford Road site.

The Advertiser revealed last month that the company was considering closing the base. Bosses blamed the loss of some work and said they had reviewed overheads.

A company spokesman said: “Following detailed consultation with representatives from the Union Unite, the proposal to close the depot has now been confirmed.

“We will, of course, continue our consultation with affected employees and the union on the implications of the closure until July 23. The company does not expect any significant changes to services or timetables in the Skelmersdale area. And discussions continue regarding staff redeployment.â€

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said: “Arriva’s decision is extremely disappointing. ŠI met with both the management and the trade unions to resolve this issue. ŠMy preference was to keep the Skelmersdale depot open although my priority was always to ensure that people kept their jobs and vital bus services for West Lancashire are retained. ŠI will continue to keep a close eye on the provision of services and fight against any attempts at reducing services.

Cllr Ian Grant, West Lancashire Council leader, said: “It is disappointing to read of the decision by Arriva but not surprising. In these difficult economic conditions the loss of any employment opportunity is regretted and is a real headache for the hard working work force.â€

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