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Devon bus drivers will decide whether to strike over pay

750 staff will be balloted to decide on the next course of action. Credit: ITV West Country

Union leaders are asking Stagecoach bus drivers in the South West to decide whether they should strike over pay.

RMT say the company's pay offer is below inflation and so is effectively a pay cut in real terms.

The union will ballot 750 staff in Exeter, Torquay and Barnstaple before deciding whether to strike.

Bus workers in the South West provide an essential service across a wide geographical area and they deserve a fair deal on pay.

– Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary

Stagecoach South West says it has worked closely with union representatives over several months to try to agree a pay deal.

We have done our utmost to present a series of offers that meet their expectations whilst also being affordable for the long-term sustainability of the region's bus network.

Following our most recent meeting, I was confident that we had made progress, particularly as I was advised the offers were to be put to members for their consideration.

However, I remain confident that, with open and honest dialogue and commitment on all sides to exploring all the options on the table, we will still be able to reach an agreement that is in everyone's best interests.

– Bob Dennison, Managing Director of Stagecoach South West

Talks take place at Western Greyhound over the future of staff

Talks are taking place this lunchtime between trade unions and management over the future of Western Greyhound bus drivers who lost their jobs.

The Cornish bus company collapsed on Friday - and while some drivers have been taken on by new companies - others are still facing an uncertain future. A number of other bus companies have temporarily stepped in to cover the routes.

Philip Bialyk, the RMT South West Regional Organiser, says the staff members feel let down.

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Western Greyhound: no replacement bus services this weekend

Replacement bus services following the collapse of Western Greyhound are expected to start on Monday - but there will be none this weekend.

Cornwall Council has been working with the bus industry to arrange alternative services. Four companies have agreed to provide the majority of services from Monday.

Some former Western Greyhound buses will be seen back on the road next week - but they will not be operated by Western Greyhound. More details at www.cornwall.gov.uk/buses.

Job uncertainty for staff at Western Greyhound

Over 100 jobs are at risk in Cornwall as bus company Western Greyhound struggles to cope with its financial troubles.

In a letter to staff Managing Director Michael Bishop says he was in a "difficult situation" and his priority was to "look after staff" when he announced the firm had ceased trading.

Bus Driver, Christian Barkland, has been speaking to ITV.

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Some jobs at Western Greyhound could be saved

158 staff and 14 bus routes are affected by the announcement Western Greyhound has ceased trading.

ITV understands the management teams of Western Greyhound are in discussions with other bus operators to see if any jobs can be saved.

The company website has been suspended and bus drivers remain at the Summercourt bus depot in Cornwall to try and find out more about their future.

Cornwall Council is aware of the sudden closure of Western Greyhound bus company and is working hard with the industry in attempting to secure alternative services as quickly as possible.

We will keep the public up to date through our website www.cornwall.gov.uk/buses, and the press and media, but it is unfortunately inevitable that there will be disruption over the next few days.

One school contract is affected and alternative provision has been put in place.

– Cornwall Council

First Bus will accept Western Greyhound passes

Bus company First Kernow will accept Western Greyhound tickets and passes on all its services after the company has reportedly ceased trading.

We don't want to see bus users left out of pocket.

We'll be accepting all Western Greyhound tickets on our bus services over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, we are working with our Cornwall Council partners to provide replacement services as soon as possible.

– Alex Carter, Managing Director of First Kernow

Cornwall bus operator goes bust

A major bus operator in Cornwall has gone out of business.

Drivers for Western Greyhound Ltd arrived for work this morning at the company depot in Summercourt to be told they were being made redundant.

One told ITV News that he had arrived at 5.30am to be given a notice of redundancy by management.

He said there had been no suggestion that the redundancies were imminent and he hadn't been paid for this month.

In the letter to staff seen by ITV News, Managing Director Michael Bishop said:

"Our focus is to pay all outstanding monies to each member of staff as soon as possible.

We are in immediate discussions with other operators to try and secure as many jobs as possible."

Mr Bishop took over the company in December last year.

He cited problems paying a large insurance bill as the reason for the closure.

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