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N E Wales News 11th May 2017

posted 11 May 2018, 09:51 by Ron Newbe

Coastline Taxis (JWS Cars Limited) Rhyl.
YJ18CZL, the new Optare Solo SR which arrived at the end of April but was returned to Optare has now arrived back today (11th May) with Coastline. The previous vinyls have been removed and replaced with painted skirt, roof and red stripe. It also now carries Denbighshire County Council logos. It is hoped that it will see service later next week after some other matters have been attended to. It will see service on the 55 / X5 and will do both the journeys into Wrexham during the day. The MetroCity is likely to arrive in a few weeks time and is to have a similar livery. <PHOTO near side front> and <PHOTO rear off side>

Easy Coach (The Skiers Lodge Limited) Shrewsbury.
This operator has recently advertised for drivers to be based at Wrexham. They have also registered the following services:-
Oswestry Bus Station, Stand 1 to Wrexham Bus Station, Stand 1 Via Gobowen, St. Martins, Chirk, Pentre, Cefn, Plas Madoc, Ruabon, Johnstown, Rhostyllen (service 2) to start 25 Jun 2018
Wrexham Bus Station to Cefn-Mawr, Cefn-Bychan Heol Craigfab Bus Stop Via Johnstown, Ruabon, Plas Madoc, Rhosymedre (Service number 2D) starting 27 Jun 2018
Wrexham Bus Station to Wrexham Industrial Estate, Redwither Tower, Wrexham Via Stockwell Grove, Hightown, Pentre Gwyn, Pentre Maelor (Service number – 42) to start 29 Jun 2018
Wrexham Bus Station to Barkers Lane, Wrexham Via Garden Village, Borras, Ffordd Alun, Barkers Lane, Rhosddu (Service number 44) to start 28 Jun 2018

The company also holds the contract to operate the Enquiry office within the King Street Bus Station in Wrexham.

D Jones and Son, Acrefair
Another departure is VV08BLU (AD Enviro 200 / MCV) which has gone to Hulleys of Baslow.

Voel Coaches, Dyserth.
MW52PZC (Optare M920 Solo) and N104WRC (MB 811D / Plaxton Beaver) are now withdrawn and for sale. R792PAO (Volvo B10M / Plaxton Premier 320) has also been withdrawn and may donate parts before going for scrap.

M and H, Trefnant, Denbigh

JXI835 (Volvo B10M-62 / Plaxton Panther) was on loan from Modurdy’r Foelas, Pentrefoelas. It has now left and has been sold to Cerbydau K & P Coaches, Gaerwen which is where the previous loan bus (ex Rogers of Graigfechan) XIL3673 went to. The ordered Streetlites which are to receive a similar livery to that of the new Coastline Solo are expected now at the beginning of next month.

Jones Motor Services.
DAF SB3000 / Van Hool Alizee RDM378 which has been registered back to T159AUA has gone to Davies Motors, Ruthin.

GHA Update 5th May 2018

posted 5 May 2018, 09:46 by Ron Newbe   [ updated 5 May 2018, 14:00 ]

Following the demise of GHA in July 2016 Flintshire County Council retrieved seven vehicles that had been on loan to GHA. Four of these were Optare Versas with wooden floors and leather seats and had been used on the SP1/2 Ellesmere Port service. The four Versas then went into store in Flint until last month when they were eventually entered into an auction in Manchester. YJ09OTS, which had been accident damaged and was also involved in a previous incident when a wheel fell off due to lack of maintenance,  has been purchased by Llew Jones of Llanrwst and it has been repaired and now in service mostly on the X19 Llandudno to Llanrwst route. The three other Versas YJ09OTN/P/R were purchased at the auction by the former Directors of GHA who trade as Davies Motors and they have a base at the former GHA depot in Ruthin. Apparently they will be on sale soon after some repairs. <Photo of YJ09OTP>

In addition a number of vehicles were recovered from GHA in 2016 by finance companies. Most of these went to auctions but a number went to Harrington/ Baker Brothers in Biddulph. Quite a few of this batch were unsold and they eventually went to auction in Whitchurch last November. Two of these vehicles, Solo CN06BXS and Dart SF04ZXC, were purchased by Davies Motors at the auction. The Solo has been sold on to Nefyn Coaches but the Dart is currently for sale.

Details of the disposal of all of the GHA Coaches fleet which I have recently updated can be found on my website at LINK. A number of vehicles have not been taxed since the demise and are now assumed to have been purchased for breaking. However I have a short list of six vehicles that are thought to be in use but I have not been able to trace the current owners. ANY HELP to trace these will be appreciated. They are:-

W465WGH Volvo B7TL Plaxton President
CN57EFC Volvo B7RLE Plaxton Centro (sold at auction Whitchurch Nov 17)
CN57EFD Volvo B7RLE Plaxton Centro (sold at auction Whitchurch Nov 17)
WX05XVN MB Sprinter 413cdi / UV Modular
OEZ2159 MB 411CDI / Stanford

N E Wales News - 30th April 2018

posted 30 Apr 2018, 09:12 by Ron Newbe   [ updated 30 Apr 2018, 09:17 ]

Straffords, Minera, Wrexham.
The second Scania / Higer Touring coach arrived today. GS18GAS is C53F and TS18GAS, which arrived a few weeks ago is C51FT. I was privileged to get a few photos of both of these coaches today (and a very enjoyable and comfortable ride) - Many thanks to Tony Strafford.

E Jones and Sons, Rhosllanerchrugog, Wrexham.
<PHOTO LINK> to the Scania / Irizar 68 seater YN12CZG that arrived earlier this month. It is to remain in silver but with have a few vinyls applied soon.

N E Wales News 25th April 2018

posted 25 Apr 2018, 04:30 by Ron Newbe

Coastline Rhyl,
Yesterday the new Solo SR which will carry the registration YJ18CZL arrived but due to problems with the vinyls it has returned to Optare for rectification work. When it returns it will have a Denbighshire logo applied and this <PHOTO LINK> is believed to be also the style of the new livery for the new MetroCity to arrive soon and the Streetlites coming to M and H.

In March Coastline won from Voel Coaches the contract to provide the Denbighshire 40 service which is a complicated timetable involving different routes on various days of the week but covers the Prestatyn Town service and serves the communities of Dyserth, Cwm, Rhuallt, Tremeirchion and Henllan. The Solo acquired for this service MX08MYM arrived in March and it is believed will also receive the new Denbighshire livery in due course. Seen yesterday at Prestatyn - <PHOTO MX08MYM>

M and H, Trefnant
The new Streetlites are expected next month. In the meantime YJ66APU, the Solo SR on loan from Express has returned to that company and CX56TMV has replaced it <PHOTO THREE>. This Solo was new in September 2006 as CY56MRO to Express Motors.

For a number of years the ex Rogers of Graigfechan XIL3673 a Volvo B10M / Van Hool T8 Alizee has been operated by the company. This vehicle was actually on loan from Modurdy’r Foelas, Pentrefoelas. It has now been sold and is with an operator in Anglesey. The replacement loan vehicle is now JXI835 <PHOTO FOUR> a Volvo B10M-62 / Plaxton Panther and was new in May 2000 as A3XEL. It is not the first time it has seen service with M and H.

Jones Motor Services - Flint - closes after 120 years

posted 17 Apr 2018, 06:13 by Ron Newbe

After a mere 120 years the bus and coaching business of Jones Motor Services has come to an end. The business was founded in 1898 initially as a haulage business by Edward Jones. As paraffin oil was one of the significant items carried the business has since been known as 'Jones the Oil'. The business developed into motorised vehicles and by adding seats to the lorries - passengers were carried.

The works bus services to John Summers and Courtaulds together with a small fleet of service buses were sold to Crosville in 1936 but the business continued throughout the war and developed to include funeral and wedding cars, a petrol station, car sales (new and used) under the leadership of Gwilym, son of Edward. The bus and coach part of the business resumed in 1950 with the purchase of a Bedford OB.

The business established a holiday company 'Jones Holidays' involving various U.K. and European tours. In 2011 whilst Jones Motor Services still ran the holiday business the vehicles and drivers undertaking the tours were provided by Alpine Travel although the feeder for the tours was provided by Jones mainly using minibuses. In January 2017 the holiday business was sold to Alpine in Llandudno. They now operate the booking office in Flint and the coaches used retain the blue Jones Holidays livery with a new logo which is similar to the new alpine logo.

The business has been run by the 3rd generation of the Jones family, Alun, for a number of years but he has decided to retire.

A heritage vehicle – JCK892 - a Leyland Tiger Cub / Burlingham Seagull, was owned for some 40 years and was often seen in various rallies. This was sold last year to Ensign for further preservation.

The remaining fleet of 4 buses and a few minibuses used for the feeder service are believed to be currently for sale. Those vehicles that had cherished Flintshire 'DM' registrations have been re-registered to their original numbers.

I would wish Alun a long and enjoyable retirement.

N E Wales news 17th April 2018

posted 17 Apr 2018, 03:11 by Ron Newbe

Pats Coaches, Southsea, Wrexham
The latest arrival is Scania / Irizar (C70F) YN06CJO which was new in March 2006 to Attain Fleet, Birmingham [S2] and then went to Malbank, Nantwich before joining Pats. It is currently in plain white but is to receive the fleet livery very soon. The 70 seater Scania L94IB / Van Hool T9 Alizee R10ARE is currently up for sale.

E Jones and Sons, Rhosllanerchrugog, Wrexham
Joining the fleet is YN12CZG a Scania K320IB4 / Irizar with a slightly unusual 68 seater body with two entrance doors. It is currently in sliver. It should see service quite soon.

NE News - 9th April 2018

posted 9 Apr 2018, 12:34 by Ron Newbe

Unicorn Travel, Llay, Wrexham
The latest addition to the fleet is OU14SVC - LINK -. It arrived Friday and today has been given the fleet livery.
This tidy fleet now consists of four Tourliners and one MB Atego / Unvi Cimo.

Strafford Minera, Wrexham
I managed to get a PHOTO of the Scania Higer TS18GAS that arrived last month. It was having its first service today. The second Higer GS18GAS is due to arrive in the next week or so.

E Jones and Son, Rhosllanerchrugog
The Scania PB E11SPG that arrived last October is nearly ready for service - it has been given the new livery - PHOTO LINK.

Alpine Travel, Llandudno

posted 6 Apr 2018, 09:30 by Ron Newbe   [ updated 6 Apr 2018, 09:31 ]

In case of interest I have added a page to my website setting out the current fleet, historical background and complete historical fleet of Alpine Travel. - LINK -
As usual if anyone has any comments, corrections or additions then please contact me.

DeeBee services

posted 3 Apr 2018, 08:38 by Ron Newbe

From 2009 GHA Coaches working mainly with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) but also with Flinsthire County Council (FCC) developed a DeeBee service brand culminating in seven vehicles, all Solos having such branding. - PHOTO LINK - 

However the finance available for these services progressively reduced and it became very common for these branded vehicles to be used on various other services. Two of the Solos were repainted out of the livery in late 2015. (T313/4 UOX). Following the demise of GHA in the summer of 2016 the only services remaining were the DB1 Chester - Mold via Higher Kinnerton, Caergwrle and Treuddyn. DB2 Chester to Saltney Ferry and DB4 Chester to Deeside Industrial Estate. 

These contracts were awarded to Arriva Cymru Limited in 2016 until the beginning of April of this year. 

The DB2 has now been discontinued. 

The DB4 is now operated by Stagecoach utilising the same timetable. 

The former DB1 service was jointly funded by CWaC and FCC but initially FCC did not indicate that finance was available from April.  Stagecoach were successful in gaining the contract from CWaC to start on 3rd April for a new service from Chester to the village of Higher Kinnerton.  New service numbers of 61, 61X  and 62 were given. (the 62 variation visits Hartlington Street in Handbridge and the 61X goes directly to Higher Kinnerton visiting only Doddleston).  The bus involved on this service (Solo 47624)  has received a route branding 'Dee Bee - Still buzzing into Chester from Kinnerton - Dodleston - Westminster Park – Handbridge' - PHOTO LINK 2 -

However at a very late stage FCC did find the finance and they have contracted with Stagecoach to provide a bus running from Higher Kinnerton to Mold via Treuddyn, Caergwrle and Hope with some journeys terminating at Caergwrle. The route has been given service number 65. Most timings are such that by changing at Higher Kinnerton it is possible to make the through journey.

On the first day of operation - today 3rd April 2018 - the destinations on the bus involved on the Mold journeys had incorrect spellings of Treuddyn and Mold (Mould). - PHOTO LINK 3 -

After pointing out the serious error to the driver he made a phone call and it was corrected within an hour. - PHOTO LINK 4 - A module arrived at Higher Kinnerton with an Inspector.  In addition the running board was not complete, I had to provide the driver with a timetable (which I got from the FCC website) and the ticket machine was not programmed so that no fares could be collected.

P and O Lloyd, Bagillt

posted 29 Mar 2018, 11:35 by Ron Newbe

Unfortunately Solo YJ06FYW has been involved in a fire which appears to have left it written off. Fortunately no passengers on board and no one injured. LINK

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