Bus users on several routes across Wrexham will soon be to access the services of a new budget bus operator.
Launching with four main services, from Wednesday 27th June easyCoach’s trademark orange and white buses will operate in Wrexham and the surrounding areas.
EasyCoach is part of the easyGroup family of brands, led by billionaire easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
The man at the helm of the enterprise, founder Andrew Martin, is confident that locals will enjoy an improved service at lower prices.
“The Wrexham bus service network has fared badly recently, with the closure of two out of three major operators since 2016,” said Andrew.
“Having just one dominant operator isn’t great for the consumer, so we saw an opening for an innovative brand that would bring a breath of fresh air to the town.
“We guarantee fares will always be lower than our main competitor’s, giving customers more bang for their buck.”
The four services launching next week by easyCoach include Route 2, which will operate from Oswestry to Wrexham five minutes ahead of the Arriva West Midlands.
The 2D Wrexham to Cefn-Mawr will leave five minuted ahead of Arriva’s 2C service; with the company stating that “working in tandem” the new routes will deliver a service from Plas Madoc, via Ruabon and Johnstown, to Wrexham Bus Station every 15 minutes.
EasyCoach will also reinstate the much-missed Wrexham to Wrexham Industrial Estate bus, operating as route 42. Similarly the new route 44 will offer a service from Wrexham to Barker’s Lane at 30-minute intervals.
Commenting on the new services, Andrew said: “Getting out of town to the industrial estate, as well as getting into town from residential areas, has been extremely difficult for anyone without a car.
“EasyCoach is set to change that. Besides cheaper fares, we will also have promos throughout the year, as well as concessions for passengers who are retired or disabled.”
The company have also announced plans to make it “simpler and cheaper” to get from Wrexham to Liverpool and Manchester Airports – with free travel on an easyCoach into Wrexham bus station for passengers with an easyBus ticket to the airport.
Work is also currently being completed on the easyCoach depot in Rhosymedre, which is being painted orange in keeping with the easyGroup’s instantly recognisable colour.
So far 10 drivers have been recruited, including one who has decided to come out of retirement.
Andrew’s wife Sarah hails from nearby Shrewsbury, so the entrepreneur, who recently sold his French easyBus business to National Express Group, is delighted to be creating jobs in the local area.
It is hoped that if the Wrexham service proves a success, it can be rolled out and expanded into other towns as well.
Andrew added: “The philosophy of the easyGroup is very much about taking on the big boys.
“We know from feedback in Wrexham that passengers feel they deserve more, and through cheaper fares and better service, easyCoach is well-placed to provide it.
“We’re a UK company and proud to be investing in the local community. Although we’re focussing on Wrexham right now, we’re identifying other areas where we could potentially roll out the brand.”
The news has been welcomed by Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, who said the bus industry more recently has seen significant decline and welcomed new services and companies to Wrexham.
He added easyCoach have moved their depot to Wrexham from Shrewsbury which also provides new jobs and a boost to the local economy.
Earlier this year it was announced that ‘The Skiers Lodge Ltd’ – who operate easyBus and easyCoach – had been offered the contract to operate the enquiry / information facility at Wrexham’s bus station on behalf of the council.