One is Plymouth Citybus, the other Rossendale Transport.
Though nothing seems to have emerged officially from Rossendale council, it’s believed that the council has now shelved its plans to privatise, after the marketing testing exercise revealed that valuations did not come up to expectations. Campaigners say that local service delivery has won over corporate greed. Or it may simply be that potential buyers don't rate the return on investment.
Meanwhile, campaigners in Plymouth battle on and will no doubt seize upon Rossendale to counter the pro-privatisers who look to Chester, Eastbourne, Bournemouth and elsewhere.
The council has recently reflected upon the sale of its arms length concern. Note the unusual advertised terminus, "Water"
Yet, in a difficult economic climate for bus services and in world where in future we may see the emergence of not five but four or even three major players, in a world ever looking to economies of scale, how safe is a 100-vehicle operation spread over two depots, such as Rossendale’s? All you can say is that it’s certainly so at the moment.
Never far away from the Pennines, in Rawtenstall
It’s tempting to speculate what would’ve become of the former Rawtenstall and Haslingden Corporations (who shared a general manager) had SELNEC and Greater Manchester PTE boundaries moved just a mile or two north of Ramsbottom to engulf the two smaller municipals. Services would by now be operated by First Group. The boundary didn’t move and the municipals remained as Rossendale. Post deregulation, Rossendale Transport doubled its vehicle size and expanded considerably, outside its core routes. In fact, it has taken full advantage of deregulation, not unlike the larger groups.
A hoarding in Rawtenstall depicts Rossendale’s transport heritage as one of the last to operate exposed front buses regularly. There’s an up-to-date Lancashire United vehicle that serves Rawtenstall three times an hour. Evidence of the area’s tram heritage is still visible between the setts in Rawtenstall’s main street
Photos: Omnibuses’ Northern Corespondent