Llanberis based Padarn Bus is to cease trading at midnight Friday 30th May 2014 due to ‘financial issues’ with the loss of 84 jobs. The announcement comes a day after a man, 44, and a woman, 28 were arrested following allegations of fraud.
The company operated 28 routes in total, it is currently unknown as to which some remaining uncovered services will be allocated to new operators with assistance of Gwynedd Council, with plans to minimise any disruption to passengers from any service withdrawals by the company.
Timetables will be updated at www.gwynedd.gov.uk/bwsgwynedd when new contracts are confirmed.
It was announced this afternoon that Arriva Buses Wales are to take on routes 6/6A, 53/56/57/58, 75, 78/78A and 85S from Saturday 31st of May (for timetable and service information from Arriva Buses Wales click here), also from Saturday 31st of May local independent of Express Motors will now take on routes 72, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88 (for timetable and service information from Express Motors click here), as well as service 42 (Bangor – Llangefni) expected to be operated by Gwynfor Coaches and OR Jones of Llanfaethlu. Unexpectedly however, GHA Coaches of Wrexham are now set to Operate the former Snowdon Sherpa (for routes and the timetable information click here).
The company was founded as a taxi firm back in 1979 by Dafydd and Darren Prince, later moving to coach hire in 1984, with the name of the company derived from the nearby Lyln Padarn Lake. Padarn began operating a tendered route back in 1989 part of the Bws Gwynedd scheme which many other operators also took part in. The company also won work in Anglesey a year later which was operated by two brand new Dennis Darts in 1991 which were H465 MCC & H457 MEY.
In October 2005, it launched its first commercial route, the hourly route 77 linking Bangor and Bethesda, and quickly followed with a similar hourly route 76. This was reported to be at the request of local Councillors unhappy with the parallel service provided by Arriva Buses Wales, later in 2006 passengers in the Maesgeirchen area of Bangor asked Padarn to provide a service as an alternative to Arriva’s route.
Ken Williams, the manager of 34-vehicle independent KMP of Llanberis, announced that he wished to sell the business in 2007, Padarn were interested in buying KMP as Darren Price had previously worked at the company, but could not afford to buy the whole of KMP. In August 2008 Arriva Buses Wales purchased part of KMP, including seven Volvo B7RLE buses now known as 2793-2799 and route 10 from Bangor to Caernarfon, The remainder of KMP was sold to Padarn in April 2009.
Upon the company ceasing trading the Padarn Bus fleet consisted of seventeen Dennis Darts, several of which are low floor, two Mercedes-Benz Varios, two Mercedes-Benz 811Ds, four Alexander Dennis Enviro200 Darts, six Optare Solos, an Optare Versa and two Volvo B6BLEs. The company also operated a few double deck vehicles mainly being Leyland and Volvo Olympians and former Plymouth Citybus open-topped Leyland Atlantean ODV 203W (401) which was used on the company’s Snowdon Sherpa routes.
It is really disappointing to see such a operator go after being in business for 35 years, and a local bus operator for 25 years. In this day and age its not an easy task to operate an efficcient, modern and forward-thinking bus company such as Padarn Bus. In my opinion though I see this as a great opportunity for Arriva Buses Wales to expand their operations in this part of North Wales.