Uncertainty for staff as Eaves Lane bus depot faces axe

The Stagecoach depot on Eaves Lane, Chorley

The Stagecoach depot on Eaves Lane, Chorley

Share this article
0
Have your say

Rising costs and need for significant investment blamed for transport cuts.

Bus operator Stagecoach is axing its Eaves Lane depot

This has been a difficult decision. However, it’s important that we do what is right for our business to ensure stability for the majority of our employees over the long-term

More than 20 jobs at the engineering facility are affected.

As a result, some Chorley bus routes will be operated from Preston.

And Stagecoach has also announced it is carrying out a review of its local bus network in South Lancashire over the next three months.

The Scotland-based bus giant blamed the closure - in September - on rising costs and the significant investment required to modernise the existing building. The company is consulting with trade unions over job relocations.

Elisabeth Tasker, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire, said: “This has been a difficult decision. However, it’s important that we do what is right for our business to ensure stability for the majority of our employees over the long-term.

“It is also essential to allow us to continue delivering low-fares and affordable travel for the customers who rely on our services every day. Our main concern now is to consult with staff and trade unions, looking at every option available to those affected.

“Like other sectors of the economy, we are continuing to see rising costs across our business.

In addition, Eaves Lane depot is in need of significant modernisation, as it is no longer fit for purpose, and the costs involved to do that work are prohibitive. We remain fully committed to providing high-quality bus services in South Lancashire.

“I would like to assure employees that we will be working to re-deploy staff to other local depots wherever possible.”

Stagecoach said it had looked into a number of options to continue operating the depot – one of three Stagecoach sites in Chorley – but as well as seeing continued rising costs, extensive investment would be required to complete the work needed to make the depot fit for purpose.

As a result of that – and taking into account the expected reduction in local authority investment in bus services in South Lancashire, and lower reimbursement for carrying concessionary passengers – it will to close the site from September 2015.

A total of 21 staff are based at the Eaves Lane site. As a result of the proposed closure some Chorley bus routes will be operated from Preston depot, requiring some of the driving staff to relocate.

Stagecoach said it is expected that the majority of employees will relocate to another Stagecoach depot, either in Chorley or in Preston.

Stagecoach also plans to carry out a review of its local bus network in South Lancashire over the next three months to ensure resources are being utilised in a way that benefits as many customers as possible.

Stagecoach Merseyside and South Lancashire also has an office at Chorley Bus Station and a vehicle outstation at FDC business park, Chorley as well as a depot in Preston.

Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “It is disappointing that the depot is closing and the staff are having to relocate.

“I just hope it doesn’t lead to any job losses and that we can continue to maintain bus services across the borough and see if there are ways of improving them.”