16 April 2024

Plan to demolish bus depot

East Yorkshire Buses has applied to demolish its garage at Withernsea – but says the site will still be operational.

After a fatal fire at a neighbouring property in Bannister Street in March, the company said it was bringing its insurance claim to a close, although the process had not yet been concluded.

Managing director Ben Gilligan told staff that the plan was to “flatten” the existing land but the drivers and services, as well as fuelling and cleaning operations, would still operate from the depot. Maintenance would take place in Hull.

The full plan has yet to be confirmed, but work would not start until next year.

Mr Gilligan told the Gazette: “Following the tragic fire on Bannister Street in March 2023, part of our site has been out of action due to the damage caused to our property. Despite this, our teams have worked together to ensure no disruption to services has taken place.

“Our plan will now allow us to continue to maintain operations from Withernsea, which we know is of critical importance for the local community and our team who are based there. Subject to approval, we will be demolishing the offices and depot building to leave an open parking area with welfare facilities for our drivers and cleaners. The project will undoubtedly cause some short-term disruption which we hope will have a minimal impact on local residents.”

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart, who has campaigned to keep the depot open, said: “Enhancing the economy in Withernsea is one of my top priorities and that means as many local jobs as possible.

“East Yorkshire Buses is a great employer for the town and the jobs at the bus depot are important. Earlier this year there was concern among residents that those jobs might be under threat, following the fire next door to the depot.

“That’s why I set up a petition, signed by more than 1,200 people, to make clear to the bus company the high level of support in the town for those jobs being retained. I have to say that East Yorkshire Buses has been incredibly supportive of keeping jobs in Withernsea.

“Following this latest news, I have contacted the managing director of East Yorkshire Buses immediately to make sure the company’s plans haven’t changed, and the jobs are still safe.”