HUDDERSFIELD employees of transport group Stagecoach are set for a share of a £15m-plus payout.

Thousands of bus and rail workers at the bus and rail operator set to benefit as their three-year share saving plans mature – with the average payout at £3,500.

They include drivers and other staff based at Stagecoach’s Waterloo depot operating buses serving areas including Lepton, Kirkburton, Shepley, Scissett, Clayton West, Denby Dale and Upper Cumberworth.

The payout comes as Stagecoach continues talks to sell its Huddersfield operations to rival bus and rail group Arriva.

The shares bonanza was welcomed by ifs ProShare, the body representing the employee share ownership industry.

Fiona Downes, head of employee share ownership at ifs ProShare, said: “Stagecoach has more than doubled its share price since the start of this three-year plan in 2005, meaning thousands of employees benefit.

“Employees who have opted to save in five or seven-year plans may see even greater financial rewards in years to come.”

She said: “The Stagecoach payout to bus and train drivers is yet another example of the benefits of medium to long-term saving via an employee share plan.

“However, it’s also important to recognise that employers similarly benefit – for example, from increased financial performance, employee productivity and employee retention.”

John Hamilton, director of pensions and benefits at Stagecoach, said: “Our employees have been at the heart of the growth of our company and it is right that they can share in the success of the business through the scheme.”