The Council regrets that the Board of Halton Transport has taken the difficult decision to commence the process to put the company into liquidation, following a long period in which the company has been facing significant financial problems.
Halton Transport is a company owned by the Council as an ‘arm’s length’ company and has been since 1986, when the law was introduced meaning councils could not directly run bus companies. Since then, Halton Transport has been required to operate on a commercial basis, which it has done successfully for many years.
Unfortunately, over recent years, the trading environment has become more difficult.
As the major shareholder, the Council has, in recent months, been supporting the company in an attempt to place it on a stronger, more sustainable footing – unfortunately that has not been possible.
It is widely known that the Council, like all other local authorities, has had significant reductions in its budget and therefore has to make difficult choices as to how best to utilise the resources it has. These are, by their nature, very difficult choices. In this instance its ability to support a commercial operation like Halton Transport is limited.
However, the Council is extremely aware of the anxiety this will cause members of the public who rely on the services provided by Halton Transport and is working hard with other providers to ensure, as far as possible, that essential services are maintained.
However, there will inevitably be disruption.
The simple advice to members of the public is that if you rely on a Halton Transport bus you should make alternative arrangements. The Council will make announcements on its website, social media and through media outlets in relation to alternative services as they are put in place and become operational.
The Council would like to apologise to bus users for any inconvenience caused and will continue to try to arrange alternative services.