THE bus war which has raged in Warrington for the past 18 months is over.

George Hurst, managing director of Warrington Borough Transport, has shaken hands on a peace deal with Bob Hind, his counterpart at North Western buses.

The two companies have been fighting each other for passengers since North Western introduced its Gold Lines services in Warrington. But the firms have now agreed a compromise, which will allow them to work happily alongside each other.

Over the next three months, both companies will phase out a number of services.

WBT will be withdrawing services 4, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 28, which run to Woolston, Cinnamon Brow, Birchwood, Orford and Longbarn. It will also be ending its inter-urban services to Liverpool, Chester, Runcorn and Wigan.

North Western will be stopping services to Westy, Martinscroft, Grappenhall, Penketh, Dallam, Callands, Orford, Statham, St Helens and Lingley Green.

Mr Hurst claims that passengers will continue to receive a high standard of service and he promises there will be no WBT fare rises before the end of this year. "I believe we have found a fair solution to what was a very difficult problem," Mr Hurst said. "It would have been pointless to have gone on like we were doing. There would have been no winner that way."

Mr Hind said: "We can achieve much more by working alongside each other."

Both WBT and North Western are confident there will be no forced redundancies as a result of the deal.

Converted for the new archive on 13 March 2001. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.