Transdev Blazefield planning to acquire Rosso

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Trandev Blazefield has announced that it plans to acquire local authority-owned bus operator Rosso, which operates primarily in Rossendale, Bury and Rochdale.

Subject to approval from Rossendale Council Members at a meeting on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, and to finalisation of the detailed terms of the deal, Rossendale Borough Council has reached an agreement in principle to sell its shares in Rosso to Transdev. As part of the proposed deal, the Council will retain the Haslingden depot.

As part of the outline agreement, Transdev is planning to invest significantly in Rosso, including spending in the region of £3m in the year following the proposed deal on new buses to be placed on the operator’s busiest routes.

Following the proposed deal, Transdev plans to keep the local Rosso brand alongside more new local identities, and intends to make effective use of the new bus station currently being built in Rawtenstall. It also plans to introduce integrated ticketing across both networks and improve information provision to customers.

Cllr Alyson Barnes, Leader of Rossendale Council, said: “The proposed sale is a great deal for the Council and for the borough that will see significant investment into the Rosso company to make sure we continue to get a great bus service locally. It’s not about resolving the Council’s financial challenges – we are looking at other ways of closing our budget gap and ensuring continuous improvement in public services.

“Transdev is an award-winning company with a strong reputation for quality services and investment that gets more people on board buses. Residents will benefit from the fact that the new service will be able to join up routes right across the local sub-region. We would not be selling our shares if we didn’t think they could deliver an even better service than we have now.”

Alex Hornby, Chief Executive of Transdev, said: “Following approval and finalisation of the proposed deal, we are looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues at Rosso into the Transdev Blazefield family. Our track record in Lancashire and across the north is one of growth, innovation and creating buses that people want to be seen on, and we have exciting plans including investment in new, hi-spec buses to benefit the people of Rossendale and Greater Manchester.

“From day one, we will be talking and listening to staff, customers and stakeholders about our strategy to ensure we deliver attractive bus services that reflect the needs of local communities and strengthen local economies.”