A bright new bus brand is to bring smarter travel to Rossendale in the New Year, thanks to a partnership between Rosso and Lancashire County Council.

Rossendale Rovers is the new name for Rosso’s local buses in and around Rawtenstall, Bacup and beyond, with a new network delivering many improvements for the area from Monday 4 January 2021.

Newer easy-access buses will be introduced on services 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as part of the new Rossendale Rovers network, with customer-friendly features on-board including audio-visual next stop announcements.

The new Rossendale Rovers network will restore previously lost links between communities while also providing more buses, more often to boost the region’s bus services for residents including key workers and students while attracting new customers to choose the bus for local journeys.

Among the key changes include: new links on Booth Road and New Line with bus route 7 between Rawtenstall, Bacup and Todmorden upgraded to run every two hours, restoring direct links through the Rossendale Valley, an improved route 8 will run more often, with a bus every hour from Burnley to Bacup and Pennine Road, and buses also running via Burnley Wood, modern buses in a distinctive ‘Rossendale Rovers’ livery, featuring audio-visual next stop announcements and offering contactless payment options on-board.

Meanwhile the routes 10, 11, 12 and 13 in Rossendale will continue as part of the new ‘Rossendale Rovers’ network and there will be dedicated school buses will operate for Todmorden High School (service 800) and Valley Leadership Academy (service 808)

The Rossendale Rovers network is being introduced under a new multi-year contract between bus operator Rosso and Lancashire County Council, supported by a budget commitment by the local authority to invest additional funding into local bus services.

CEO at Transdev, owners of Rosso, Alex Hornby said: “We want our buses in and around Rossendale to be a place people want to be seen in, and our new Rossendale Rovers name and brightly coloured buses are all about making our smart buses stand out in and around the town.

“We’re delighted to work with Lancashire County Council to deliver a real and positive step change in quality for our Rossendale customers, in line with our wider strategy to build buses back better beyond the pandemic. We believe buses have a vital role to play as a net contributor to economic growth and positive environmental change.

“With our amazing people delivering a high-quality service that’s Clean, Safe and Ready to Go, we’re looking forward to delivering our exciting new Rossendale Rovers network to begin 2021.”

County Councillor Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "Good public transport links are vital to ensure everyone has the chance to access education and employment opportunities, and visit essential services.

"The county council agreed earlier this year to increase the budget for bus services to extend the existing network and help those services which need some support in order to become sustainable, and these improvements in Rossendale have been identified as a priority to meet a demand for better links in this area.

"Our aim is to try and provide good transport links, particularly in rural areas where many people rely on bus services, and to increase the frequency of services where there is most demand to make them useful to as many people as possible, and hence make them more sustainable.

"These buses are modern, comfortable, and convenient, and I'd urge people to make good use of them."

Full details of the new Rossendale Rovers bus network and all services operated by Rosso are available online at https://www.transdevbus.co.uk/rosso and from the travel shop at Rawtenstall Bus Station, plus via the free to download Transdev Go mobile app. Customers can also see at a glance how busy their bus is before travelling using the website or app.