THE sale of Yellow Buses could soon be back on track following a top-level meeting between council bosses and the Department of Transport.

The council claims the meeting was "very constructive and positive" and believes it has identified a way in which the crisis-hit sale can be completed.

The sale to French-based Transdev was thrown into disarray when the Department of Transport ruled the bidding process had been unfair to local company Excelsior.

In a statement, Bournemouth Borough Council said: "A very constructive and positive meeting with the Department for Transport (DfT) was held on Thursday.

"The approach to completing the sale in a way which will be acceptable to the Secretary of State is now the subject of detailed discussion between us and the DfT. We expect to be able to make a further statement shortly."

Meanwhile, Excelsior boss Ken Robins has called for an open inquiry into the reasons why Bournemouth council ignored his complaint and progressed with the sale. He also said he was keen to present Excelsior's bid to councillors and confident it will stack up.

"Now it is the council's intention to remedy the problems inherent in the bid process then at last we will be able to bid," he said.

"The council must inform the directors, staff and unions what they are proposing to do, clear the air, and move on quickly.

"We are ready to assist by making sure we submit our pre-qualification documents as soon as we are asked to do so."

First published: August 23