THE council has vowed to keep Rossendale Transport after valua-tions made by outside bodies failed to make the grade.

Fears that the borough’s transport service would be sold to a corporate body have now been allayed.

Residents’ petitions, prote-sts and letters to the Government have paid off as the council’s test mark-eting exercise was scrapped this week.

Campaigners had feared that Rossendale Transport would be sold resulting in over 200 job losses and many bus services being cut down or even withdrawn.

Coun Ann Cheetham, chair of Rossendale Trans-port, said: “It is great news that the service will continue in Rossendale.

“Though we may not be as big as companies in neighbouring cities, we do provide a very good service.

“There has been a joint effort to maintain the company by the staff, local councillors and bus users throughout the borough.”

Bosses at the council concluded that initial valua-tions made by a number of third parties did not meet the expectations of the local authority.

After council leader Tony Swain announced the company would be retai-ned, a statement comm-itting to improving local services, customer stan-dards, operational effic-iencies and local employment within the borough was released.

Coun Alyson Barnes, leader of the Labour Party on the council, said: “I am delighted at the news.

“Some people may ques-tion why a local authority is running a bus service at all, but with the locality and geography of a place like Rossendale, it makes a lot of sense.

“Rossendale Transport does a good job of providing a local service but a bigger bus company may have overlooked important thi-ngs.”

Rossendale MP Janet Anderson also tabled a motion in parliament earlier this year to save Rossendale Transport.