First Manchester to close Bury and Tameside depots

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First Manchester has announced a proposal to move operations, including all drivers, from its Bury and Tameside locations to three of its other Manchester-based depots.

The business currently operates from six depots across the Greater Manchester region, and following a comprehensive review of the depot structures and the network, First Manchester is proposing to relocate operations at Bury (Rochdale Road) and Tameside (Broadway), to its depots in Queens Road, Oldham (Wallshaw Street) and Bolton (Weston Street).

Adrian Worsfold, Director of Operations at First Manchester, said: “Over the last two years we have been reviewing our depot network as part of a strategic review designed to make our business a more sustainable one and to help protect jobs in the long-term.

“Our decision to relocate will not impact our customers – they should continue to expect high quality and reliable bus services.

“My colleagues in Bury and Tameside have done a terrific job and we will ensure that they are fully supported throughout the coming weeks.

“We have begun communicating with our colleagues and have shared our proposal with the trade unions to ensure their views are considered as part of this process. If the proposal goes ahead, we will of course be doing everything we can to assist those affected by the changes.”

The First Manchester team is soon due to start a consultation with the trade union and a 45-day collective consultation process will then begin. The Bury and Tameside operations are expected to be relocated by April 2017.

Currently, 320 employees work from Bury and 92 employees work from Tameside.

The Bury Times reported that while the 328 driving roles across both sites are safe, the 84 non-driver employees could be at risk.

Adrian added: “As we work through the consultation, it will become clear how many of our 84 non-driving employees will be at risk.

“We will do everything we can to offer alternative roles to as many of our depot and engineering colleagues as possible and do our utmost to ensure any redundancies are kept to a minimum.”