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Arriva plans Bishop Auckland take over

ARRIVA is planning to take over much of Go North East’s operations in Bishop Auckland, following an announcement by Go-Ahead that it is closing its depot in the town. The services being taken over by Arriva represent about 26 vehicles worth of work, although no vehicles are involved in the transfer.

Go North East employs 80 people in Bishop Auckland and says most will be offered the opportunity to relocate to the company’s Chester-le-Street depot or transfer to Arriva. Go North East predicts the majority of jobs will be safe, and will strive to minimise the risk of redundancies.

Paul Matthews, managing director of Go North East, says: “We regret that circumstances have led to the decision to reduce our involvement in the bus network in the Bishop Auckland area. This was brought to a head by the deteriorating condition to the old Bishop Auckland depot. It was impossible to justify the investment needed to improve the building and the site will need to be sold for redevelopment.

“We have explored a wide range of options over many months and have made every effort to safeguard services and jobs in the area and believe that Arriva is now best placed locally to support and serve the needs of most Bishop Auckland bus users.”

It is planned that the services will transfer from Go Ahead to Arriva on 8 April. Arriva will maintain current service and fare levels, and will run the services from its existing Bishop Auckland depot.

Steve Noble, managing director of Arriva North East, says: "Clearly we will work closely with employees and trade union representatives to ensure a smooth transition for both customers and employees.

"We have a superb team at Bishop Auckland and we've got a great track record in the area. It makes sense for us to take over these routes: we have spare capacity in the depot and operating additional services from here will have limited impact on our overheads."

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