TRANSDEV ­– which runs Keighley Bus Company – expects to complete the acquisition of Yorkshire Tiger this summer.

Bosses of Transdev have signed a preliminary agreement to buy the West Yorkshire-based operator from Arriva UK Bus.

The deal is set to include two Arriva depots, at Elland and Huddersfield, as well as 61 buses.

All 163 drivers, engineers, cleaners and support staff based at the depots will transfer to Transdev.

Services will be unaffected and it is anticipated that Yorkshire Tiger’s current day and season passes will be integrated into Transdev’s range of tickets.

Transdev says it is beginning a programme of one-to-one meetings to welcome the transferring staff.

Chief executive officer, Alex Hornby, said: “We are thrilled to be growing our team and our company and are really looking forward to serving this part of West Yorkshire for the first time.

“This demonstrates Transdev’s long-term commitment to develop our business here in the north of England, building on a clear track record of success.

“At this critical time for the bus, we believe it can play a key role in enabling our economic recovery – both locally and nationally.

“We’re looking forward to meeting all our new colleagues and new customers, as well as strengthening relationships with our local authority partners further.

“This presents a hugely exciting opportunity to all work together and improve the quality of bus travel further across Halifax and Huddersfield.”

Arriva says the planned sale is part of a “local review” as the company looks to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Area managing director, Patrick Sibley, said the two companies would be working closely to ensure a smooth transition.

He added: “Although we will be sad to hand over operations of our Tiger business, we are delighted that it will be in the hands of Transdev – a well-known local bus company which will take good care of the depots, customers and all employees.

“Both Transdev and Arriva are committed to working together to ensure a smooth and effective transition for customers and colleagues over the coming months.”

He said both firms were grateful for the hard work of driving and support teams at the Elland and Huddersfield depots throughout the pandemic.