North of England bus operator Transdev is investing £2.4 million in a new fleet of 23 North West-built Strata Ultra buses from manufacturer Mellor as it prepares to launch a new network of routes across East Lancashire – with the return of a familiar name.
Transdev has placed an order to build its new buses with Rochdale-based Mellor – and the bus operator will create 50 new jobs when 18 of the new buses enter service on its new ‘Ribble Country’ branded bus network in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley on Sunday 2 May.
The ‘Ribble Country’ name will be a familiar one to many in the ‘red rose’ county, as Transdev reflects its pride in its Lancashire heritage dating back 102 years since the formation of the former Ribble Motor Services company, whose red buses once served the North West from Liverpool to Carlisle.
The remaining five new buses will be used from the same date on another new Transdev service between Preston, Higher Walton, Bamber Bridge and Leyland, operated in partnership with Lancashire County Council.
CEO at Transdev Alex Hornby said: “As part of our new multi-year partnership with Lancashire County Council, we are thrilled to unveil the Ribble Country brand in tribute to the transport heritage of the area we are so proud to serve. A new look and expanded network needs the right bus for the job – and we’re delighted to have chosen Mellor, a proudly local North West company, with our order for its class-leading Strata Ultra product which offers us the quality, reliability and flexible performance we need.”
Mellor Bus Division Managing Director Mark Clissett said: “This is a significant fleet delivery for us and an important new service for the people of east Lancashire.
“Our Strata Ultra bus offers the ideal solution for regional transport operations where larger buses are simply not viable. Transdev’s new Mellor fleet will provide essential public transport across dozens of local towns and villages, linking communities and performing a vital daily service for thousands of people, while still delivering consistent productivity for Transdev.”
Transdev’s new ‘Ribble Country’ buses will create new links and provide more buses, more often across a network of 10 routes serving Clitheroe, Padiham, Burnley, Nelson and Colne plus a host of villages in between.