'Shame on you': driver at Bournemouth's iconic Yellow Buses blasts company over its collapse

Tap to watch a video report by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

A man who worked at Bournemouth's biggest bus company for 15 years has blasted the organisation after it collapsed.

Administrators were called into Yellow Buses last week but with no alternative buyer for the bus side of the business the transport operator collapsed.

With the last services arriving at the depot by midnight on Thursday, over 200 people have lost their jobs.

Speaking ahead of the closure, Martin Conder, who is also a union representative, said,

"We've literally received emails. The doors have shut. The administrators have come in. And today's our last day.

Yellow Buses took a financial hit during the pandemic. Credit: Yellow Buses

"It's been devastating, some of the guys they're absolutely devastated, they can't pay their bills. They've got kids, families, mortgages."

"Shame on the managing director, shame on you."

The Unite union, which represents 200 of the 300 staff, is looking at potential legal options over claims there wasn't enough consultation or notice given to workers.

ITV News was told that the former management team of Yellow Buses are not in a position to comment.

The loss of the company and its 120 year association is a blow for staff with increasing fuel costs and a slow recovery from the pandemic being blamed for the company's downfall.

Staff say they were simply not aware of how dire Yellow Buses finances were.

"There was a guy here yesterday it was his first day, he'd just come back training school, just finished his mentoring and it was his first day on the road and now it's his last day" said Martin.

"How's that right? How is that right?"

Rival operator More Bus is taking over 10 out of 18 of Yellow Buses routes and is advertising 90 vacancies.

The company is offering Yellow Buses workers a £3,000 welcome bonus.

"Yellow Buses situation is regrettable, and we understand the impact this will have on those who have relied upon its services here in Dorset. We are stepping in to run routes, to help keep the region moving," said Morebus managing director, Andrew Wickham. "We also appreciate the situation former Yellow Buses employees have found themselves in, and we are delighted to be able to offer them the opportunity to join Morebus. "That is why we’re hosting a dedicated recruitment event tomorrow and Saturday in Bournemouth - and we’re inviting former Yellow Buses drivers to come and speak to our team with a view to fulfilling one of our vacancies."