A West Norfolk bus operator says it is looking at expanding its business onto routes put under threat by Stagecoach’s announcement of a review of its entire Norfolk operation.
Bosses revealed late yesterday afternoon that they were consulting staff on the potential closure of Stagecoach’s Lynn depot, potentially putting more than 100 jobs at risk.
Now, the Lynn-based independent firm Lynx has revealed it is investigating whether it would be viable for them to provide replacement services.
Director Julian Patterson said this morning: “We don’t envisage that any locations that are currently served by Stagecoach in Norfolk will be left without a bus service.
“However, due to the relatively short timescales involved, it’s possible that any replacement bus services that we introduce may not initially operate quite as frequently as they do at the moment.”
He added: “As a result of the likely expansion of our business in the near future we will welcome job applications from those with the PCV (bus) driving entitlement on their licence including those that currently work for Stagecoach, providing that they can demonstrate high standards of customer care and driving abilities.”
Some engineering and cleaning posts are also likely to be available, the firm says.
Stagecoach took over most of West Norfolk’s bus services when it bought Norfolk Green in 2013, but says the operation is no longer economically viable.
Andy Campbell, managing director of its eastern division, said: “We are a significant local employer and we understand the importance of bus services for the local community. We also know that any change can be unsettling for our people.
“That’s why we are working closely with both the trade union and local authority to protect as many jobs and as much of the local network as possible.
“We’re carrying out a consultation and will be working liaising closely with staff during that process.
“However, the reality is that we simply cannot sustain the current operation given the challenging economic climate that we’re faced with.”
The company says it is in talks with union leaders and hopes to relocate affected staff to other parts of its operation.
It is also in discussions with Norfolk County Council on what it described as “steps to protect as much of the local network as possible.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said last night: “It’s disappointing that Stagecoach are considering no longer operating in West Norfolk and we are sorry to hear this news.
“However, we will work as closely as we can with them to ensure passengers are kept informed of changes and the network is covered by alternative providers as much as possible.”