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12:14pm 8th December 2014
One of Cornwall's main bus operators is being broken up.
Plymouth Citybus has bought a chunk of Western Greyhound.
It says the deal will protect routes and thirty-one jobs around Liskeard.
No word yet on what will happen to the rest of the company.
Richard Stevens Managing Director at Plymouth Citybus said "We are really delighted to be able to come to an agreement with Western Greyhound to take over these routes and safeguard not only 31 local jobs, but securing vital bus services in South East Cornwall. We have a wealth of experience of running buses in the area and have this year started providing services to The Rame peninsular and into Liskeard, complementing our service between Callington and Tavistock. I would like to personally welcome the staff into the Citybus family and assure them that they are in good hands."
Mark Howarth Director at Western Greyhound said "We recently put Western Greyhound up for sale and we believe that the deal with Plymouth CityBus for the Liskeard area represents good value for both our employees and for bus users. We started our first operations in South-east Cornwall in August 2004, stepping in when DAC closed down their operations there, and stepped in again when local bus operator Phil Hambley of Pelynt retired. Frequencies have been steadily increased with through services introduced between the Cornish resort of Newquay and Plymouth, and more recently increasing the peak-hour frequency between Liskeard and Plymouth to half-hourly. A network based on connections at Liskeard was developed together with integrated ticketing with First Great Western trains on the Looe Valley corridor. I am delighted that Plymouth CityBus will be able to take this network to the next phase of its development. I would like to publicly thank all our staff who have worked so hard under often extremely difficult circumstances, and I would like to thank the public for their loyal support over the past 10 years."
Although Western Greyhound has had a number of difficulties in recent months, mainly as a result of two arson attacks, it was for many years an award winning company winning national awards for high quality year after year.
Mark Howarth added, "The Company still continues in discussions with interested parties for the rest of the business and an announcement will be made in due course."
The current services will remain and fares and times will continue unchanged from Monday. Plymouth CityBus will continue to honour all Western Greyhound weekly and season tickets until their expiry and both CityBus and Greyhound wish to make this change as easy and seamless as possible.
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