More than 160 bus drivers and support staff are to have a new employer after Yorkshire Tiger was sold to a growing rival operator.

Arriva’s sale of Yorkshire Tiger also includes bus depots in Waterloo and Elland and 61 buses.

New owner Transdev – moving into this part of West Yorkshire for the first time – says Arriva employees will move over to the new company and local bus services will not be affected.

The agreement will see Arriva’s 163 drivers, engineers, cleaning and support staff based at Waterloo and Elland join Transdev’s staff of over 1,200 people at eight operating centres across the region.

Two Yorkshire Tiger bus routes – the 231 and 232 Huddersfield-Wakefield service – will remain with Arriva.

Transdev plans one-to-one meetings with staff affected.

Yorkshire Tiger’s current day and season passes are expected to be integrated into Transdev’s range of unlimited travel tickets, while West Yorkshire Metro’s range of multi-operator tickets will continue to be valid on all its services.

A Transdev bus – coming to a stop near you

Transdev Blazefield CEO Alex Hornby said: “We are thrilled to be growing our team and our company, and are really looking forward to serving this part of West Yorkshire for the first time.

“This demonstrates Transdev’s long-term commitment to develop our business here in the north of England, building on a clear track record of success.

“At this critical time for the bus, we believe it can play a key role in enabling our economic recovery, both locally and nationally.

“We’re looking forward to meeting all our new colleagues and new customers, as well as strengthening relationships with our local authority partners further. This presents a hugely exciting opportunity to all work together and improve the quality of bus travel further across Halifax and Huddersfield.”

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Arriva area managing director Patrick Sibley said: “Although we will be sad to hand over operations of our Tiger business, we are delighted that it will be in the hands of Transdev, a well-known local bus company, who will take good care of the depots, customers and all employees.”

Arriva and Transdev are both paying tribute to the hard work of driving and support teams at its Halifax and Huddersfield depots throughout the pandemic as an important factor in securing the company’s future.

Both Transdev and Arriva say they are committed to working together to ensure a smooth and effective transition for customers and colleagues over the coming months.