A YORK bus company has sold 17 of its buses for an undisclosed amount to a competitor which hopes to expand its business in the city.

Veolia Transdev has bought the local buses and the sightseeing operation from York Pullman, which will now focus on its coaching operation, private hire, university and schools contracts.

As part of the deal, which will come into play on February 25, 31 members of staff will transfer from York Pullman to work for Veolia Transdev. No job losses are expected.

Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Veolia Transdev, said: “This acquisition enables us to use the resources of Veolia Transdev to further develop our business in York at a time when the local council view bus services as a key part of their plan to Get York Moving. This is particularly relevant on the university route which we see as an important part of encouraging more people to travel by bus.”

Veolia Transdev will take over responsibility for routes including route 44 between the railway station and the University of York, route 35 out to Holme-on-Spalding Moor and certain evening and Sunday services such as the number 10 service to Upper Poppleton.

Timetables are expected to remain the same and the buses are likely to be repainted “in due course”, a spokesman for Veolia Transdev said.

Tom James, managing director of York Pullman, said: “We have worked very hard in developing our services and I am confident this success can be further enhanced by one of the leading bus industry operators. I can now concentrate all my energies on the further development our 50-vehicle contract and private hire business”

The Transdev operation already includes the Yorkshire Coastliner service, a series of local bus routes and the local Citysightseeing franchise.

The business entered the local York market in 2008 with the purchase of Top Line Travel from the Dew family and Veolia York.

Its York depot, currently employing around 60 staff and with 36 vehicles, has sufficient capacity to accomodate the further buses.

Late last year The Press reported how City of York Council was analysing York’s bus networks to improve services. The study should be completed by the end of March.