- Final day of service in Fort William will be Saturday 30th June
- Company continues to work closely with trade union to minimise impact on staff
Stagecoach today (3rd April 2018) confirmed that services from its Fort William depot will operate for the final time on Saturday 30th June.
The operator, which runs 8 vehicles and employs 16 staff in Fort William, has made the decision following a consultation with employees and trade union representatives. Stagecoach has written to all staff based in Fort William to confirm the facility will cease operations on Saturday 30th June and will continue to work closely with individual staff members and the trade union to find alternative employment where possible.
The company said that, as part of the consultation process, it has considered a range of ways to try and sustain the business in Fort William, including discussing with Highland Council the option to run part of the current tendered network between Corpach, Caol and Fort William on a commercial basis. The company has expressed disappointment that its offer, which would have provided opportunity for a financial saving to the council’s spend on public transport, helping to sustain the local bus network in Lochaber and across the Highlands, was not pursued. Given the budgetary pressures on the Council, the decision to retain a supported service when a commercial service was being offered is both surprising and disappointing.
Mark Whitelocks, Managing Director for Stagecoach North Scotland said: "We understand that this process has been unsettling for our people, and it has been a very difficult decision to make. That is why our approach has been to involve our employees at every stage. We have unfortunately been unable to identify an alternative solution for the business in Fort William during the consultation period. We will continue to support our staff as we work towards the depot closure on 30th June and will be doing everything we can to assist them in relocating to other parts of our business or into other work wherever possible.
Stagecoach North Scotland currently employs around 840 staff and operates a fleet of more than 350 buses. Scottish Citylink services will be unaffected by the closure.