Wrexham Council has provided a further update after the local bus company D Jones & Son suddenly decided to announce they were ceasing to trade last week.
A fuller report was circulated to Councillors today to update Members on the current position with regard to bus services in Wrexham following the ‘operational withdrawal’ of D Jones & Son – with a reminder the Council does not itself provide local bus services or run a transport fleet of buses.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Obviously we’re continuing to deal with the loss of D Jones & Son as best we can and officers have worked, and continue to work tirelessly in order to secure alternative provision for those services which have been lost.
“We would ask members of the public to keep an eye on our social media, and those of transport service providers, in order to check up on the status of replacement services.”
The report gives background information, noting it was 2:30pm on Friday when council officers first received word of potential significant disruption to transport services. Officers were made aware that D Jones & Son had not given closure notice to staff at this time, but that they intended to on Saturday.
On notification of the likely termination, the report says “officers immediately sought alternative provision for the statutory education transport services and by Sunday evening they were able to confirm seven substitute operators to ensure the provision of the statutory school bus services until the end of this term (Friday 22/12/17).”
It adds “Officers are urgently examining gaps in the local bus network to determine the wider impacts and to identify the need and scope for any replacement services in line with the contingency plan adopted following the closure of GHA Coaches in July 2016.”
Further steps are outlined, “During the school holiday and before return on week commencing 8 January 2018, officers will seek to procure permanent private contract services for home to school transport. This will ensure that we meet our statutory obligations in line with the Learner Travel Wales Measure.”
The work is ongoing as per the below plan, with the information report stating: “Further update reports will be provided at milestones indicated in Appendix A, early in the New Year and of course any shortfall picked up by existing operators will be publicised as soon as they are secured”
Arriva (or other providers) have not been in touch with Wrexham.com, although we are trying to supply firm anecdotal information where possible.
As always we will bring you updates as and when we get them.
Story from Saturday can be found here: Bus company to cease trading – arrangements made to cover Wrexham school buses but ‘disruption inevitable’