GHA Coaches, one of the largest independently owned bus and coach operators in the UK have entered administration this evening (13th July), putting more than 300 jobs at risk.
It is understood that more than 300 jobs are at risk at the company as administrators are expected to be appointed and staff are to be formally briefed this morning.
Jason Bell and Christopher Petts of Grant Thornton UK LLP have today been appointed administrators of GHA Coaches Ltd.
Jason Bell said in a statement: “GHA Coaches is no longer operating and regrettably the staff have been made redundant today. We will explore all options in terms of bringing any part of the business back to life. However, our immediate responsibility is to look after the interests of the creditors.
The business recently received a winding-up petition from HMRC in respect of unpaid taxes.
The directors attempted to secure an emergency funding package but were unsuccessful. They then took steps to place the company in administration.
There is uncertainty over existing routes run by GHA Coaches and local authorities are working to get school and college routes covered by alternative operators as soon as possible.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We are aware of the current position at GHA Coaches and the risk to jobs at the company.
“We are working closely with local authorities to minimise any adverse effect to key bus services in the area.”
A short statement has now appeared on the GHA Coaches website: “It is with regret that GHA Coaches Ltd has ceased trading on Wednesday 13th July 2016 and are no longer operating bus or coach services with immediate effect.
“We would like to thank our customers for their support over the years.”
GHA Coaches operates 230 vehicles from six depots and employing nearly 400 people with routes across the Wrexham area, out to Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Gwynedd and across into England for Cheshire West and Chester, Cheshire East, Warrington and into Greater Manchester areas.
Here are the commercial services that have been covered at short notice.
In Denbighshire, the Ruthin to Mold service 1/X1/2 will be operated by Townlynx with one journey in each direction operated by Stagecoach, Denbigh to Mold service 14 will be operated by Llew Jones, Wrexham to Denbigh service 55 will operate on an emergency timetable, the Denbigh town service 66 will be operated by M&H Coaches and the 76 service from Denbigh to Graigfechan will also be covered.
The X50/X52 from Ruthin to Denbigh [timetable] and 55 Corwen to Ruthin [timetable] have also been covered with temporary timetables. Rhyl to Chester Evening service 11A will be operated by Arriva as per the GHA times [timetable]. Rhyl local Sunday services 83, 84, 84A, will be provided by Arriva Buses Wales. From Saturday 16th July, the X50 between Denbigh, Ruthin and Wrexham will operate an emergency timetable, connections will be available with Arriva’s 51 service at Denbigh for onward travel to Rhyl).
Service 72 from Ruthin to Betws GG, service 73 the Ruthin Town Service and service 77 from Ruthin to Llanelidan will be operated by W S & N Services with minibuses.
In Cheshire, service 6 (Stagecoach) and 7 (Helms of Eastham) in Ellesmere Port will resume operation from Monday 18 July on a normal (7) or revised (6) timetable, service 36 will operate hourly by Stagecoach [timetable]. Service 82 will operate hourly at 40 mins past the hour from Chester and 40 mins past the hour from Northwich [timetable] by Arriva North West. The DB1 from Chester to Mold [timetable], DB2 from Chester to Saltney Ferry [timetable] and DB4 from Chester to Deeside Industrial Estate [timetable] will be operated by Arriva Buses Wales. The SP1 and SP2 will be operated by Stagecoach [timetable]. The 21 from Chester to Frodsham evening service will be covered by Stagecoach [timetable].
D&G Bus will be operating the following routes; Gold 42 from Congleton to Crewe, 90, 91 and 92 Beartown to Congleton the 51, 52, 52A and 53 Nantwich local services, 72 and 73 from Nantwich to Whitchurch, 39 from Crewe to Nantwich and the 77 from Congleton to Kidsgrove. The P1 from Hazel Grove to Middlewood [timetable], 19 from Macclesfield to Prestbury [timetable] and 27 from Macclesfield to Knutsford [timetable] will be operated by High Peak. The 289 from Northwich to Altrincham and 200 from Manchester Airport to Wilmslow will be operated by Howards Travel.
The 87 between Congleton and Macclesfield, 88 from Altrincham to Knutsford, the 9 from Macclesfield to Moss Road Estate, the 10A Macclesfield to Bollington and 38 evening journeys between Macclesfield and Crewe will be operated by Arriva North West from Monday 18th July 2016. The 130 from Macclesfield to Manchester will be operated by Stagecoach Manchester.
In Shropshire, the 436 Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury, 576 Oswestry to Shrewsbury, 96 Telford to Shrewsbury and 511 Whitchurch to Shrewsbury will be operated by Arriva Midlands. The 101 Bridgnorth Town service and the 205 Whitchurch town service will be provided by Bennett’s Travel. The 501 service from Ellesmere to Shrewsbury will be operated by Lakeside Coaches from Monday 18th July 2016.
In Flintshire, the 40 service has been partially covered with a temporary taxi service numbered T40 operated by JDA Private Hire. The service is operated with a 16 seater minibus. The 1 between Mold and Ruthin via Llanferres, the 2 between Mold and Ruthin via Eryrys and the X1 between Chester and Ruthin has been covered by Stagecoach [timetable].
In Wrexham, Lloyds Coaches will be running the T3 service between Wrexham and Barmouth until further notice [timetable]. The 5 service between Wrexham to Llangollen is being operated by Arriva Buses Wales [timetable] and D Jones & Son. The 41 and 42 to Wrexham Industrial Estate will be run by D Jones & Son. The X51 from Denbigh to Wrexham is operated by Arriva Buses Wales [timetable]. The 51 Rhyl to Ruthin evening service will also be provided by Arriva Buses Wales.
Several school and college routes will be operated by Stagecoach, Voel Coaches, M & H Coaches, Llew Jones Coaches, E Jones & Son, Williams of Bala, Coastline and Alpine.
It is also understood that officers at Flintshire County Council will be working long into the night to arrange alternative transport for school and college transport.
The company was first started at Mill Garage in Betws Gwerfil Goch near Corwen back in 1990 and was run by principal directors Gareth and Arwyn Lloyd Davies and General Manager Stephen Bryce.
This article was last updated on Tuesday 26th July 2016 at 08:55.15 comments