WILTSHIRE Council bosses and administrators have secured a deal to keep bus services running in the wake of the collapse of Hatts Coaches.

The 85-year-old Foxham firm, which ran Salisbury’s park and ride and other routes, called in administrators last week and told 89 staff they had lost their jobs.

The council and administrator FRP Advisory continued to operate the Pewsey Vale Connect2Wiltshire Bus service and the Park and Ride service in Salisbury with the support of Wiltshire Council while it looked to secure other operators to run them.

The administrators will run the service until the last scheduled bus route tomorrow.

The council and the administrators have found three new operators who will take over the Connect2Wiltshire service and the Park and Ride service from Saturday morning.

APL Travel will take over as operators for the Pewsey Vale Connect 2 Wiltshire bus service on Saturday. Wilts & Dorset will operate the Salisbury Park and Ride services from the sites at Wilton, London Road and Beehive, while Stagecoach will operate the other S services at Britford and Pertersfinger.

Andrew Sheridan, partner at FRP Advisory and joint administrator to Hatts, said: “This is a really great outcome, most importantly for the travelling public who rely on the park and ride operation in Salisbury, especially in the peak summer period for visitors to the historic city, and of course public bus routes in rural areas.

"This also provides immediate job positions with the new operators for all the 30 staff involved in providing these vital services.

"I would personally like to thank Wiltshire Council for their collaborative approach and understanding in working with us to ensure a constructive, commercial solution for all concerned and ensuring the best interests of the travelling public were kept at the heart of the process.”