COMMENT - Buyout boost for travellers

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THE firm buying the vast majority of Wigan’s bus services is making bold pledges to staff and travellers about investment.

FirstGroup has surprised their staff at the spanking new multi-million pound Bryn depot by announcing they are selling the business as a going concern to operator rivals Stagecoach by this Christmas.

Employees are having their terms and conditions protected by TUPE and the new buyers are pledging investment and expansion in the Wigan routes.

Seasoned public transport watchers say that they will wait to be convinced.

But there is no question that Stagecoach is a vastly experienced bus operator and its claims to a long track-record of growing existing bus operations across the UK are not without foundation.

In the last five years they have invested more than £370m in new vehicles for local communities and for inter-city coach services.

Hopefully their time in Wigan will also be fruitful for passengers.